Notebook News: Dell Inspiron 17-inch Rumor, Tablet PCs, Asus 17-inch Rumor, Apple’s Steve Jobs in Hospital

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Dell: Rumored Dell Inspiron 17-inch Screen Audio Video Notebook Arriving Soon

There’s one big hole in the Dell Inspiron lineup at the moment, in fact this hole has always been there.  Dell does not have a 17-inch screen notebook that has all the multimedia features people are demanding these days.  Not for long, it is expected that in the next few weeks an Inspiron model will be released to compete with the likes of the new Toshiba Qosmio.  Such a notebook would also compete with the HP zd7000, Toshiba P25 and Sony VAIO A series notebooks.  All of these machines have either a 17-inch screen or a slew of audio and video capabilities, including built-in TV.

Tablet PCs Gaining Popularity Among Colleges and Students

Southeastern Minnesota’s Winona State this summer is handing out more than 4,000 Gateway tablet PCs to freshmen and juniors in what is believed to be the most extensive such higher-education deployment. The portables, which are to gradually displace non-tablet laptops the students have been required to lease, begin formal use in the fall term.

Tablet PCs from the likes of Fujitsu, Gateway and Toshiba comprise only a tiny fraction of U.S. laptop sales. But on campuses around the country, the newfangled tablets may be on the verge of shaking up classroom instruction.

Mayville State University in Mayville, N.D., 20 miles from the Minnesota border, will issue the tablets to all 817 students for use this fall. Dakota State University in Madison, S.D., will hand out tablets to freshmen and sophomores, more than 800 students in all. Several other schools have tested tables.

Using Tablet PCs students have the option of scribbling notes longhand on their touch screens and converting the jottings into typed text thanks to the tablets’ handwriting-recognition features. Students also can record lectures and synchronize the audio with handwritten or typed notes for subsequent cram sessions.  There’s a lot of other reasons using a Tablet PC makes sense for college students.  Some recent releases from manufacturers such as Averatec and Fujitsu offer Tablet PCs for reasonable prices, below $2000.  Even better, even at these lower prices you can now buy Tablet PC/Notebook convertible devices that allow you to swivel a keyboard and use the machine either notebook or tablet style.

Asus: Rumored 17-inch Screen Audio Video Notebook Arriving Soon

Asustek, a manufacturer that sells notebooks under the Asus label, will also be looking to steal marketshare in the 17-inch Audio/Video notebook arena.  Asus should be releasing a 17-inch style notebook as part of its V6-series in the next few weeks.  The notebook should sell for about $2,940 (U.S.).

Acer: Acer TravelMate 370 coming to North America

The Acer TravelMate has been available in Europe and Asia since last year.  In Acer’s bid to command more of the market in the U.S. they are bringing their TravelMate 370 in the late summer.  The TravelMate 370 has a 12.1-inch screen, the same as the new Inspiron 700m, and you can bet they’re aiming to take away business from Dell and offering an alternative to the 700m by releasing this state side.

Product page for TravelMate 370:

Apple: Steve Jobs has Cancer Surgery

Steve Jobs was treated for a rare case of pancreatic cancer this weekend by having his tumor removed.  Pancreatic surgery is not pleasant stuff and we hate to bring it up on a tech focused site, but we wish him well and a speedy recovery from such a scary illness.  He apparently will be just fine and released from hospital soon and using August to recover.  From his hospital bed on Sunday he used his Apple Powerbook to send a message to Apple employees:

“This weekend I underwent a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my pancreas, I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1% of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was).”

Tim Cook, Apple’s sales and operation chief, will be running the show during the month of August while Jobs recovers.

PortableOne Releases Two Notebooks

PortableOne ( has in the past been a major reseller of Fujitsu and Panasonic notebooks.  They’re a great place to buy from if you’re interested in these brands.  PortableOne will also be selling their own notebooks now.  The thin-and-light MX series and the ultraportable UX series.  Check out their website for more info on these offerings, we will be reviewing both the MX and UX on in the upcoming weeks so check back for thoughts and reviews on PortableOne’s entry into the notebook market.




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