News Bits: Fujitsu B6210, ThinkPads to Integrate Cingular EDGE, $100 Laptops Tested, Sony UX50 Reviewed

by Reads (12,184)

Fujitsu announces LifeBook B6210

June 21st – Fujitsu today announced the LifeBook B6210, featuring an ‘extra’ long battery life and a touch screen. Weighing in at a mere 3.2 lbs, the B6210 features a 12.1″ display and an ultra low voltage Intel Core Solo procssor. Fujitsu claims up to eight hours of battery life with the standard battery.

The B6210 also features an optional fingerprint sensor, TPM (Trusted Platform Module), and hard drive password protection.

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Gigabit Ethernet and a modem take care of wired connections, while the optional Bluetooth module and Atheros Super AG WiFi provide wireless connectivity. The Fujitsu LifeBook B6210 can be purchased from Fujitsu’s website, starting at $1,599. Link to Product.

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Lenovo to offer Cingular WWAN in notebooks

June 22nd – Lenovo is now offering options to add wireless broadband connectivity rate plans on its ThinkPad T60 notebooks via EDGE and BroadbandConnect networks.

T60’s will be available at some point (no date yet) with an option to add WAN connectivity with Cingular Data Connect plans, which start at $59.99/month. Right now however, only Verizon is offered.

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ATI IGP line to be DirectX 10

ATI is set to debut its 65nm, DirectX 10 integrated chipsets next year according to roadmap details that were leaked earlier this week. Unlike its ATI Radeon X1000 series, ATI’s current integrated chipsets do not support Shader Model 3.0 – now it appears that instead of introducing a SM 3.0-compliant chipset, it will skip right over it to Shader Model 4.0, which will be introduced with DirectX 10.

Codenamed ‘RS700’, there is a possibility it could ship under a CrossFire Xpress 3200 brand. RS700’s DirectX 10 support will center on a unified shader architecture, and also incorporate ATI’s AVIVO image and video-enhancing pipeline. HDCP support will probably be integrated into the graphics core.

And here’s the exciting part – ATI says it will have a ‘new low-power design’ courtesy of the PowerPlay technology for better battery life – sounds like ATI may be entering the mobile market with this chip.

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Acer edged out by Toshiba in 1H

Since Acer took over Toshiba’s #3 spot in the worldwide notebook PC rankings in Q4 last year, they seem to have lost some of their competitive edge. In the first half of 2006, Acer slipped back in to #4 behind Toshiba according to data from the Taiwan notebook market. However, the sources are more optimistic about Acer’s performance in 2H 2006; Acer’s notebook sales are typically stronger during the second half.

Although Acer took the #3 spot in Q4 2005, Toshiba came back in Q1 2006 – statistics showed that Toshiba shipped 2.24 million portable PCs in Q1, compared to Acer’s 1.95 million. Acer suffered an on-quarter 16.5% drop in shipments, while Toshiba enjoyed an 8.3% rise. Toshiba’s original full-year goal for 2006 was 8.5-9 million units, but to counter Acer, have increased that estimate to over 10 million units.

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Educators first to test $100 laptop prototype

June 19th – Educators from around the world will be among the first to test the prototype models of Nicholas Negroponte’s $100 laptop during the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), held from July 5th-7th in San Diego.

Negroponte commented:

“ISTE’s NECC will be the first public forum at which we not only show a working prototype of the $100 Laptop, but also provide hands-on access to developer machines. Furthermore, selected conference attendees will be invited to participate in our developer program.”

Journalists and NECC attendees can try out the $100 laptop’s casings and motherboard, thanks to Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative.

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DigitalTrends reviews the Sony UX50 UMPC

DigitalTrends reviews Sony’s $1,799 UX50 UMPC (Ultra MObile PC). It recieved the editors choice award with a score of nine. Pros: Responsive, Beautiful design, 2 cameras, fully keyboard, bright touch screen. Cons: Price, confusing differences between Japanes and US models.

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Novatel Wirless introduces HSDPA ExpressCard/34 for North American and European markets

June 22nd – Novatel Wireless announced it has started its pre-commercial shipments of the Merlin UX870 ExpressCard, designed for both North American and European HSDPA networks.

The Merlin XU870 is a tri-band HSDPA/UMTS and quad-band EDGE/GPRS product, which allows for worldwide roaming between HSDPA networks in both North America and Europe. It is initially configured for 3.6Mbps data speeds, but as soon as 7.2Mbps service is available, it can be upgraded with a software utility to boost its speed to 7.2Mbps.

Peter Leparulo, CEO of Novatel Wireless commented:

“The Merlin XU870 ExpressCard is our second external ExpressCard/34 solution for notebook platforms that either contain both PCMCIA and ExpressCard slots or only ExpressCard slots. By delivering our pre-commercial Merlin XU870 HSDPA ExpressCards for North American and European markets, ahead of schedule, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to leading the way in ExpressCard mobile broadband development.”

Shipments of the Merlin XU870 are expected to begin in Q3 2006.

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