News Bits: Sony VAIO Vista Notebooks, Gaming on Vista, New Samsung 1.8″ Hard Drive

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Samsung introduces 1.8" hard drive with 60GB single disc

Samsung has introduced the world’s first 1.8" hard drive with a 60GB per-disk capacity. The new N-series is a mere 5 millimeters tall and comes in 20GB, 30GB, 40GB, and 60GB capacities. The N-series is currently shipping, available as both an internal and external hard drive.

Until now, two disks had to be used to get a 60GB storage capacity in a 1.8" form factor, but thanks to the use of Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology, Samsung is now able to fit all 60GB onto a single disk in the slimmest form factor available.

Another notable feature about the Samsung N-series is its quiet operation. It operates at 1.8 Bel (measurement of sound); the lowest the human ear can hear is 2 Bel, which makes its operation undetectable to the human ear.

Read More (Business Wire)

Sony VAIO Vista notebooks to roll out January 30th

Sony will be holding an event at its Sony Style store in mid-town Manhattan to unveil the VAIO TX, N, FE, C and AR Series notebooks with Vista. The media event will take place at 7:00 p.m. on January 30th (next Tuesday) and feature singer Brandi Carlile for entertainment. Mark Hanson, senior vide president of VAIO product planning, will be there to demo the Vista loaded machines. Conspicuously missing from the list is any mention of the Sony VAIO SZ 13.3" notebook, so the assumption is that will not be available with Vista initialy.

Gaming on Vista has ups and downs

While Windows Vista promises more visual enhancements in 3D gaming, an emphasis on security makes development tougher on small game developers. One of the most highly anticipated features of Vista is DirectX 10, which will support ultra-realistic effects. "Crysis" by Ubisoft and "Supreme Commander" are two DirectX 10 titles.

Microsoft says that Vista will make it easier to install, update, and control access to games. Parental controls can limit access to games with different ratings, and also the time when they are played.

However, there are downsides. Every time a user downloads a game, Vista will warn that it could be harmful, and will require the administrator password if the user continues anyway. Vista will also not ship with Flash, which is used to make many simpler games.

Read More (Yahoo! News)

Notebook makers expect strong demand in Q1

Quanta Computer and Compal Electronics are expecting strong growth in Q1 due to Windows Vista. Quanta and Compal are projected to see on-year growth rates of 36% and 65% respectively.

Compared to Q4 2006, Quanta and Compal may see respective shipment declines of 10% and 15%, although the drops will not be as sharp as they were in Q1 2006.

Read More (DigiTimes)

Support for Windows XP Home and Media Center extended

Microsoft has extended Mainstream support for Windows XP Home and Media Center until April of 2009. They now have the same support tme period as XP Professional, which is an enterprise-level product. Mainstream support includes no-charge incident support, security updates, feature requests, and hotfixes.

After April 2009, XP Home and Media Center will go into Extended Support, which will end in April 2014. Customers will be charged for incident support and hotfixes.

Read More (DailyTech)

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