Notebook News: New VAIO Notebooks, New Inspiron 5160, IBM #1 in China, Hitachi 100GB Hard Drive

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Sony Unleashes new VAIO Products in Japan: VAIO S2, VAIO B, VAIO M, VAIO T

Sony yesterday announced the VAIO T ultra portable notebook that will be available worldwide starting next month, but there are other VAIO notebooks announced and coming out in Japan soon that are worth mentioning. 

New Sony VAIO M Home Entertainment / Notebook Computer

The Sony VAIO M is an all-in-one notebook and home entertainment center that is similar to the VAIO A notebook series currently available, although apparently not quite as big.  The VAIO M has such interesting features as a fold-up keyboard, built-in TV tuner, remote control and up to a 200GB hard drive.  This new VAIO M will essentially replace the older VAIO W line.

VAIO M Japan: http://www.vaio.sony.co.jp/Products/VGC-M50B/

New Sony VAIO B 14.1-inch screen notebook available in Japan

The VAIO B series will replace the old Z1 series and is aimed at business users.  The VAIO B has a 14.1-inch screen and can be configured with up to 1GB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive.  It has the same sloping look as the old Z series.  Personally I think this notebook is a bit of a yawn.

VAIO B Japan: http://www.vaio.sony.co.jp/Products/VGN-B90PSY/

Last, but not least, the VAIO S has been bumped up to the VAIO S2 in Japan.  The S2 has the same 13.3-inch widescreen, Bluetooth, 802.11g WiFi as the original S series but adds a DVD burner, up to a 2GHz Pentium M processor, up to 1GB of RAM and a larger hard drive is available.

Yesterday we reported on the new Sony VAIO T Series ultra portable notebook to replace the VAIO TR series and will be available worldwide next month.

Dell Inspiron 5160 Now Selling

Dell made a slight upgrade to its Inspiron 5150 line of notebooks, releasing the Inspiron 5160 notebook this week.  The series model number was bumped up by only an increment of 10.  Dell usually differentiates a major upgrade or big difference between similar machines by using an increase of 100.  So what’s the difference between the Inspiron 5160 and 5150?  Not much, here’s a list of notable differences:

  • No more blue accents
  • New mobile Pentium 4 available (Prescott) 2.8GHz – 3.2GHz
  • 12-cell Battery instead of 8-cell
  • New inexpensive choice for the graphics card, the XGI Volari XP5.  The old GeForce Go5200 is still available.

IBM is #1 non-Domestic PC Maker in China for Notebook and PC Sales

IBM has taken the crown for being the #1 computer manufacturer in value of sales in the Chinese PC market.  According to Janet Ang, vice-president of IBM China

“We are very glad to see IBM has gained many No 1 titles in the PC market and we hope that when people talk about personal computer, they will think about IBM Thinkcentre and Thinkpad.”

IBM’s market share in the notebook computer segment in China grew from 17.3% to 21.2% as it further extended its leadership.  IBM launched its ThinkPad X40 notebook and its ThinkCentre S50 desktop recently in China.

To help promote its notebooks in China IBM will be opening “experience centres” where people can have a close look and try computers.  The Chinese and Japanese markets tend to be more reluctant to buy online or via phone, but the IBM business model generally involves selling computers via phone or internet so the experience centers are designed to alleviate anxiety for buyers in China who prefer to touch and feel a product before buying it.

Hitachi Unveils 100GB 5200 RPM Notebook Hard Drives

Hitachi yesterday announced the availability of new 100GB hard drives for notebooks. These new drives are being called the Travelstar 5K100 and E5K100, the 2.5-inch hard drives spin at 5400 revolutions per minute and consume relatively low power for operation.  The 5400 RPM speed provides much better performance than the standard 4200 RPM hard drives used in notebook computers.  The drives have Serial ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) interface technology.

The Travelstar 5K100 and E5K100 drives are also available in 40GB, 60GB and 80GB capacities, and they weigh between 95 and 102 grams. Hitachi plans to ship the new hard drives in all capacities within this year. No pricing is available.

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