Notebook News: VAIO TR5, TV Integrated Notebook, Solar Power on Mt. Everest, FCC tests new Laptops

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Sony VAIO TR5 Released By Sony

The Sony VAIO TR Series is Sony’s contender in the ultraportable notebook market.  Sony has just refreshed the series with the introduction of the Sony VAIO TR5, the VAIO TR3 was the most recent update before this.  Don’t ask us what happened to the TR4, seems Sony decided to skip over that number!  Anyway, the only real exciting thing to report with the TR5 is that it comes with a built-in DVD burner.  Not bad for a sub 4lb notebook.

From the Sony site:

“Experience the ultimate in convenient portability with the new TR5AP from Sony. Weighing less than 4 pounds, the newest notebook in the award winning TR series provides all the features of a full-size notebook. Its integrated wireless capabilities allow you to stay connected where ever you may be, while the internal DVD-RW drive and enhanced Click-to-DVD make watching and creating DVDs a breeze.”

The TR5 starts at $2,999.99.  In the world of notebooks, less is more in regards to size and weight relative to price!

Toshiba Plans TV Integrated Notebooks

Toshiba Corp., which fell from the ranks of the world’s biggest laptop computer makers this year, said it will debut a notebook computer that combines as a TV.  This statement came in an interview with reporters in Taiwan.  Toshiba thinks that the notebook will become a hub for multimedia entertainment in the home, which is the same thing many other notebook makers are saying and hoping.  Toshiba placed no date on when they would release a TV integrated notebook that is worldwide compatible, stating that they had technical challenges to overcome; “We need to meet the requirements of different television broadcast systems worldwide,” the Toshiba Vice President said in an interview. Europe, the U.S. and Japan use different broadcast formats, with which Toshiba aims to comply, he said. Nishida was visiting Computex 2004, the world’s second-largest computer show, which was being held in Taipei.

Many other notebook makers have been focusing on this same theory of notebooks becoming a control for the digital home.  A large notebook manufacturer named Quanta made similar statements last week: “The plan to allow video-input products such as digital camcorders and still cameras from different manufacturers to combine with televisions will need one device to control everything,” Barry Lam, chairman of Quanta Computer Inc., the world’s largest maker of notebook computers, “There is no common platform today, and it will take a long time to develop one,” Lam said. He declined to elaborate on how much time the development effort will take.

Bloomberg has more news on this: http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000101&sid=aHX3r8TuYHwY&refer=japan

Solar Power for Notebook on Mt. Everest

When you’re climbing Mt. Everest and need power for a notebook computer, it’s kind of tough to go back down the mountain and recharge a battery and you don’t want to be filling your backpack with batteries when you’d rather have food to feed yourself.  So how do you overcome this dilemma of not having power for the notebook you take on your journey (which by the way, had better be a rugged notebook such as a Panasonic Toughbook!)?  Well, since there’s plenty of direct sunlight on the mountain, why not use solar power?  And that’s exactly what gadget geeks are doing that do such crazy things as climb Mt. Everest:

“The sun was so bright at 18,000 feet that it wasn’t a problem at all,” said Sean Burch, who climbed Everest last year, and did not have the human power to bring along hundred-pound batteries like bigger climbing crews do.

More on the use of solar power for out of the way trips from Reuters news: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=569&ncid=738&e=1&u=/nm/20040605/tc_nm/columns_programs_dc

FCC Reveals Upcoming Notebooks from Panasonic and Averatec

The FCC has to test any wireless radio related products before they can enter the U.S. market.  The FCC also often makes many of their test documents and pictures available on the web so that sneaky people like us can poke around and see what’s new but hasn’t been announced by companies yet.  We found two new Panasonic ToughBook notebooks and an Averatec notebook that are undergoing testing and should soon be released.  In addition to this there’s a new Microsoft wireless Mouse being tested:

New Panasonic ToughBook CF-18 with wi-fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth: https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=523108&fcc_id=’ACJ9TGCF-187′

New Averatec Notebook with Integrated Wi-Fi: https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=206812&fcc_id=’Q3Z3200M’

New Panasonic CF-Y2 Ultraportable with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth: https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=574268&fcc_id=’ACJ9TGCF-Y21′

New Wireless Microsoft Mouse: https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=803374&fcc_id=’C3K1023′

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