News Bits: VAIO TX2, Acer #3 in Notebook Shipments, Intel and AMD Q4 Results Contrasting

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Sony VAIO TX2 Ultraportable Notebook to Replace VAIO TX

Sony will soon be updating its ultraportable TX series to — and what could be more logical — the VAIO TX2.  Hooray for logical naming conventions in notebook model series upgrades.  The TX2 will be a subnotebook with an 11.1-inch screen like the TX and will have an integrated super-slim Double Layer DVD RW — something that’s actually hard to find in notebooks of this size.  The weight of the TX2 will be a mere 2.74 lbs but will be durable and rugged thanks to its use of carbon fibre and composite materials used in the construction of the body.

The TX2 will not be a Core Duo notebook, but rather will use an Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) Intel Pentium M processor with Centrino technology.  The TX2 will also be fanless.  Sony claims that the use of LED technology in the display will allow for major battery savings and stretch standard battery life to 7.5 hours.  That’d be nice, if true.  At the moment Sony has not released any information as to when the TX2 will go on sale.

More: Sony TX2 announced on Sony Europe website

Acer Leapfrogs Toshiba for #3 Spot of Notebooks Shipped in Q4 2005

According to website Digitimes.com Acer shipped 2.2-2.3 million notebooks in the fourth quarter of 2005, surpassing Toshiba to become the world’s third largest notebook vendor behind Dell and Hewlett Packard (HP).  So for the 4th quarter of 2005 the top five manufacturers in terms of number of notebooks shipped globally are the following:

  1. Dell
  2. HP
  3. Acer
  4. Toshiba
  5. Lenovo

Acer shipped about 200,000 more notebooks than Toshiba did in the fourth quarter, the sources noted.  The numbers used to estimate numbers of notebooks shipped is based on information from notebook makers and component suppliers that worked with Dell, Acer and Toshiba.

More: http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20060117PR220.html

Sony Offers $500 Off VAIO Notebooks For Trade-in of Dell

Sony is using some interesting tactics to steal business notebook buyers from Dell.  Sony is incentivizing business channel buyers that purchase through Sony solution providers to trade in their old working Dell laptop and get $500 off the purchase of a new VAIO. 

Sony usually offers $300 on trade-ins for old notebooks, but is specifically targeting Dell to try and take a piece of the pie from their business customers.   Sony said the rebate can only be claimed by official Sony solution providers for the clients they sell VAIOs to. Such a trade-in would represent a hefty discount off the price of some of the Vaio BX notebooks, which start at a street price of $1,171 ($1,171 – $500 = $671)

More: $500 off VAIO Notebooks with Dell laptop trade-in

Apple open to Lawsuits With Introduction of MacBook Pro?

An interesting article on infoworld addresses the question of whether it’s possible Apple could now be sued by the likes of PC manufacturers such as Dell if they were to refuse to allow licensing of the Mac OS X on Dell machines.  The article contends that if Dell theoretically wanted to purchase OS X on an OEM basis and were turned down, they could have grounds for suing Apple by arguing that Apple controls 100 percent of the Apple compatible hardware market and therefore it is anti-competitive.

More: Could Dell sue Apple?

Intel Posts Poorer Results than Expected — Weak Desktop PC Sales and AMD to Blame

So Intel has released a hot new mobile processor in the form of Yonah, Apple is now using their processors and the mobile PC market has been on fire.  You’d think Intel could really excel with such factors in their market environment.  You’d be wrong.  Intel disappointed Wall Street yesterday with it’s earnings results being below expectations, and their stock fell 11% today because of it.

Intel blamed weakness in the desktop PC market for hurting sales, Intel based desktop PC sales dropped 22.3% in the fourth quarter — AMD beat Intel out by having 52.5% of all desktop PCs sold in the U.S. containing an AMD processor.

Notebook PCs have been the fastest-growing segment of the PC market for several quarters, and Intel has a sizable advantage over AMD in that segment. However, Intel lost its lead gap during the fourth quarter as 30.5% of all notebooks sold contained an AMD processor — that’s over 8% more than the previous 2004 4th quarter where only 22.3% of notebooks sold had an AMD chip. 

More:  News.com

AMD Stock Flies as Better than Expected Results are Posted — Dual Core Turion by Mid-Year

While Intel licks its wounds and its stock gets pummeled, AMD is basking in the afterglow of the stellar financial earnings report they put out today.  AMD sailed to better than expected earnings ($1.35 billion sales, 78% increase year-over-year) on the back of server and mobile processor sales.

“Our fourth quarter results underscored the undeniable fact that the AMD growth engine is gaining momentum,” said CEO Hector Ruiz, during a conference call with analysts.

AMD will need to try and beat Intel to the punch in releasing a 64-bit dual core mobile processor if they want to continue to grow and take market share from Intel in the mobile processor sector.  At the moment, AMD does not have a dual-core mobile processor, while Intel does.  AMD’s chief of sales, Henri Richard, claims AMD will have a dual core mobile Turion (64-bit processor) by mid-year.

More: TheRegister, News.com

Intel Core Duo Offers Worse Better Battery Life

There have been a couple of articles published this week reviewing performance and battery life for Intel Core Duo processors.  One article on TomsHardware.com says battery life suffers in favor of performance.  But then AnandTech.com says battery life is better and so is performance with Yonah.  Does that balance out to mean that overall battery life is about the same while we can agree performance is better?  Our review of the Acer TravelMate 8204WLMi indicates performance is definitely better while battery life is very respectable at 3 hours, next week we’ll have a Dell Inspiron e1705 to test out and see how performance and battery life stands up.

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