News Bits: Tech Support Survey, Widescreen ThinkPad T Series, Dell Sued in China, Laptops on UK Flights

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Widescreen Lenovo ThinkPad T-series later this year

LaptopLogic is reporting that Lenovo will be introducing a widescreen ThinkPad T-series notebook later this year. In the past, the T-series were only offered with a standard-aspect display. The Z-series are the only ThinkPads right now that have a widescreen display.

Lenovo is in a tight spot right now, facing the low prices of Dell and the established presence of HP. A widescreen T-series offering should compete well with Dell’s widescreen Latitude D620 and D820. Lenovo has the pricing down pat, now they simply need to remain competitive and maintain the legendary ThinkPad quality.

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Tech Support showdown

LAPTOP Magazine tests and rates the technical support is from major notebook vendors. They based their analysis off of two user-created problems:

The first challenge was easy. We shut off each notebook’s Wi-Fi connection using either the system’s Wi-Fi power switch, if there was one, or the Function-F2 key combo. Then we would call and complain that we lost Wi-Fi service and ask for help getting back online.

The second challenge was a tad harder: We added some memory-resident applets whose icons appear in the Windows System Tray and then complained that our laptop booted up abnormally slowly.

Before calling, they tried using the non-phone support methods (company-offered FAQ pages, knowledge base online systems, chat services, manual and software download pages).

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Dell sued over false ad campaigns in China

Dell is facing legal action in China over allegations of false advertising. Apparently, Dell has been sued because its laptops contained a different, cheaper processor chip than was advertised. At least 20 lawsuits have been filed against Dell so far.

Dell admitted and apologized for the error on its Direct2Dell website. Dell said it contacted customers and explained the difference between the chips, and offered a full refund for those still not satisfied.

A spokeswoman from Dell now says that the error was due to the fact that Dell switched the chips used in certain laptop models before the brochures and order forms were updated. Most of the problems are associated with the 14″ 640M (also sold as the Inspiron e1405) laptop. According to Dell promotional material and published specs, it was equipped with a T2300 processor, but Dell began fitting it with the T2300E model. The difference between the two is that the latter does not support virtualization, or the ability to run multiple operating systems at the same time.

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Alienware Aurora m9700 SLI laptop review

TechSpot is running a review of Alienware’s dual-video card Aurora m9700 SLI notebook. It features the fastest Turion 64 ML-44 (2.4GHz/1MB) CPU, dual 100GB 7200RPM SATA hard drives running in a RAID 0 configuration, and the all-important feature, dual Nvidia GeForce Go7900GS 256MB video cards. Costing around $3,700, this isn’t a machine for those with a budget, but if you have a serious need for speed, this could be your ticket.

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Baggage advice for UK passengers

The UK Terrorism threat level has recently been downgraded from “critical” to “severe”, and as a result, there have been some security changes at UK airports.

Each passenger is allowed to carry one item of cabin baggage through the airport security search point. Liquids still aren’t allowed (with few exceptions), but laptops are. Laptops and other large electrical items must be removed from the bag and put on a tray so they don’t obscure the bag.

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Power Support announces back-to-school essentials – accessories for MacBook and MacBook Pro

August 14th – Power Support today announced MacBook and MacBook Pro accessories for the back-to-school season, including the Wrist Rug and Track Pad Film Set, as well as Crystal or Antiglare Films.

The Wrist Rugs are designed specifically for Apple laptops. They cushion palms from the metal base of the laptop with a soft, suede-like feel, and protect the metal finish from scratches. The TrackPad Film enhances accuracy and permits more fluid motion while protecting the trackpad. TrackPads will be offered in black, white, and metallic, and start at $19.95.

The Antiglare films help reduce radiation emitted by the display by up to 70%, reducing eye strain. It is available in a variety of colors and sizes, retailing about $30-$40. The Crystal Film has a glossy finish to protect the display from scratches, and enhances images with more vibrant colors. It also reduces eye strain. Retail prices will range from $30-$40.

The products mentioned above will be available for purchase in August at popular retail and e-tail locations throughout the US, and also available from the manufacturer’s website, www.powersupportusa.com.

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