News Bits: ThinkPad Z, Intel Graphics Guide, Tablet PC Caricature, Princeton U.

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IBM / Lenovo ThinkPad Z Series Coming?

There are rumblings in the rumor mill that IBM is going to for the first time release a widescreen consumer oriented laptop in the next month or two.  The ThinkPad Z series would be the name of it.  In an article on eWeek last week the name of the upcoming model series slipped, following is that excerpt:

A further expansion of the popular ThinkPad line is on the way, he said, citing the planned September release of the widescreen Z series.”

and a link to the full article: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1843597,00.asp

A Chinese website posted some pictures of the rumored Z series recently too:

Some rumored specs of the Z-series are as follows:

ThinkPad Z60T

– Pentium M 740 1.73Ghz
– 2MB L2 Cache, Intel 915GM
– Win XP Pro (Eng or Trad Chin)
– 256MB DDR2 RAM
– 40GB Harddisk (5400rpm)
– 24x/24x/24x/8x CDRW/DVD Combo
– 14″ TFT WXGA (1280×768)
– Graphics : Intel GMA 900
– Model, LAN, 802.11a/b/g
– 3xUSB 2.0, SD slot, IEEE 1394, IR, VGA
– 4lbs
– 13.1″ x 9.2″ x 1″
– Battery 3 hrs
– 3 year international warranty

ThinkPad Z60M

– Pentium M 760 2.0Ghz
– 2MB L2 Cache, Intel 915GM
– Win XP Pro (Eng or Trad Chin)
– 512MB DDR2 RAM
– 80GB Harddisk (5400rpm)
– DL DVD+-RW Multi-burner (2x max)
– 15.4″ TFT WSXGA+ (1600×1050)
– Graphics : ATI Radeon X600 (128MB)
– Model, LAN, 802.11a/b/g
– 3xUSB 2.0, S-video out, SD slot, 3-in-1 card reader, IEEE 1394, IR, VGA
– 6lbs
– 14.1″ x 10.3″ x 1.6″
– Battery 4 hrs
– 3 year international warranty

Take these specs and rumors with a grain of salt, on the Chinese website that leaked the IBM Z series they mentioned an X700 graphics card, but these specs do not reflect such a card so we don’t know if the Z will be configurable with an ATI X700 graphics card or if bad information is just floating around.

Intel Posts Game Compatibility List for the Intel Integrated Graphics Processor

A lot of people often ask the question if an integrated graphics card from Intel is okay for playing some basic games, and often times the answer is yes for older or less demanding games.  Intel has decided to be helpful and compiled a list of popular games to play on laptops and lists whether the 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express Chipset Family integrated graphics cards are able to run these games, a link to the page:

http://support.intel.com/support/graphics/intel915gm/sb/CS-020153.htm

No surprises, they indicate that Doom 3 simply does not operate on an integrated Intel graphics card but games such as GTA3 or NHL 2005 should run just fine.

Tablet PC Caricature Guy

Emil, an artist in London, uses a Tablet PC to draw caricatures of city visitors

If any of you have ever been to a big city as a tourist you’re probably familiar with the guys that line the streets with their stools and easels and offer to draw your picture in 5 minutes for some sum of money.  I avoid them like the plague myself, but this one guy in London puts a new twist on the line of work that might actually intrigue me enough to sit for five minutes and take part.  Emil is an artist that works in Leicester Square London and sketches people’s faces on a Tablet PC (made by Motion Computing) and will then email you your finished picture.  How cool is that?  Well, for the geeks of the world that might seem cool at least.  Here’s a pic of Emil in action:

Emil at work drawing a caricature

credit goes to business editor Steve Ranger (pictured above) of Silicon.com for these pictures

Princeton University Launches Digital Textbook Program, but Forget about Convenience or Cheaper Prices

Princeton University decided to take the splash and be the first big name school to offer text books in digital format.  Sounds fantastic right?  No need to lug all those books around, just carry one laptop with all the text you need and just print out the pages you need to study and take notes on at home or the college computer lab — and all for a cheaper price too.  Uhh, wrong.  Here are the ridiculous terms for the Digital Rights Management that is enforced upon these digital texts:

  • Textbook is locked to the computer where you downloaded it from;
  • Copying and burning to CD is prohibited;
  • Printing is limited to small passages;
  • Unless otherwise stated, textbook activation expires after 5 months!
  • Activated textbooks are not returnable;
  • Buyback is not possible.
  • So forget marching back to the bookstore to resell the book, forget about trying to email yourself a few pages to the computer back at home with the parents and forget about conveniently printing the chapter for today’s lecture.  And if the class lasts over 5 months or you, say, fail the class then the textbook self destructs in five months so you’ll have to buy another.  What a joke!  Even worse, it’s only 33% less than a regular textbooks.  Sounds like a money scheme to me — for the publisher that is.  Sheesh.

    Here’s a link to the company, MBS, that offers this digital textbook program:

    http://www.digitaltextbooks.net/cgi-dts/pressrelease.pdf

    Princeton website:

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/

    NotebookReview.com Helps Mom’s find Laptops Under $1000

    Well there’s not too many mothers that visit this website, but there are certainly some and one of those NotebookReview.com mom’s kindly wrote an article for the website ModernMom.com and had some nice suggestions for laptops under $1,000 that you can buy for the kids as they head back to school.  Here’s a link to the article:

    http://modernmom.com/content/1879

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