Amid all the laptop news this week, much of it coming out of the IFA show, there were a few announcements that especially stood out: two major PC makers unveiled their entries in the new (and untested) Ultrabook category. Even better, we got a change to get our hands on working demo units of both models, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s and the Toshiba Portege Z830. Those two new models join previously announced Ultrabooks such as the Asus UX21.
Lenovo is expected to announce an Ultrabook and a 7-inch Android tablet in the coming weeks, CNET has learned.
The IdeaPad U300s would be Lenovo's first portable tagged as an Ultrabook--a category of sub-0.8-inch-thick laptops that has many of the hallmarks of Apple's MacBook Air. That is, weighing typically 3 pounds or less, constructed from special materials like aluminum or carbon fiber, powered by Intel Sandy Bridge processors, and priced--at least some models--below $1,000.
During Lenovo's earnings conference call last week, Chief Operating Officer Rory Read said that Ultrabooks would "reach mainstream price points...that were only 18 months ago in premium segments."
"The Ultrabook, like the tablet, is a legitimate member of the high-mobility class of devices," said Roger Kay, the principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies. The initial iteration of the Ultrabook is expected to hew to the traditional clamshell laptop design. "So, it's a very portable device that comes in a very useful form factor," Kay said.
But that's not all Lenovo has in store. The 7-inch IdeaPad A1 tablet is also expected to be rolled out. A similar tablet has already gone on sale in China, according to Netbook News. The tablet for the China market is spec'd with a 1,024x600 display, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 3622 processor, 512MB system memory, 16GB storage, and micro-USB and microSD slots. … Read more
Hewlett-Packard has been in the PC business for more than 25 years. And, needless to say, it had some good designs. It's worth a quick look at select models that stood the test of time in the wake of the disclosure today that the company is trying to unload its PC business.
Let me preface this with a caveat that was buried in the various HP statements today about its PC business: "There can be no assurance that any transaction regarding PSG (Personal Systems Group) will be pursued or completed." So, it's not a done deal. … Read more
Logitech expanded its gaming mouse family this morning, announcing the budget-priced G300. Available for $40 when it goes on sale in September, the G300 is now the most affordable mouse in Logitech's gaming lineup.
Buily upon a customizable laser sensor, the G300 can hit sensitivities up to 2,400 dpi. It also features nine programmable buttons, as well as the capability to store three user profiles, letting you transfer the mouse between PCs without losing your settings. Being a gaming mouse, it also has customizable lighting, with seven different color options.… Read more
Daily cost of a 'promoted trend' on Twitter: $120,000 Cost of buying space in Twittersphere zeitgeist is up more than 400 percent. More
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems span every part of the business process, including personnel, manufacturing, accounting, planning, sales, and service. Once ridiculously expensive, ERP has dropped in price to the point where any business can afford it, since we're assuming "free" is compatible with most budgets. That's the cost of 2BizBox ERP, a freeware ERP suite based around modules and submodules. It can manage engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, sales, inventory, personnel, finance, and much more.
For freeware, 2BizBox is no lightweight, but it's hardly stuffy or bloated. It's Java-based but includes some 60 modules, which … Read more
The European Union will consider whether a massive wave energy project from Scotland should receive a piece of a renewable-energy and carbon reduction project fund that could total billions of euros.
The Pentland Orkney Wave Energy Resource (POWER) project was nominated this week by the U.K. government for the NER300, a fund managed jointly by the European Commission, European Investment Bank, and member states that's named after the 300 million carbon "allowances" being sold to raise the funds.
If approved, funded, and built, the wave energy farm would be the largest grid-connected wave energy farm in the world, according to the Scottish European Green Energy Centre.
The POWER project as currently proposed would place 24 wave energy converters from Pelamis Wave Power and 10 Oyster 3 wave energy converters from Aquamarine Power in the Orkneys off the coast of Scotland. They would tie in to the Scottish electric grid and, together, they would make up a 28-megawatt wave power farm.
The Pelamis wave energy converter is a floating serpentine machine made up of multiple sealed cylinders that each contain power modules, hydraulic cylinders, and motor generators. The cylinders are connected by two-direction hinged joints. Jostling by the motion of ocean waves in relation to the hinges enables the machine to generate electricity, and transfer it by subsea cable.
The submerged Oyster, meanwhile, is shaped like an oyster shell that opens and closes from wave motion. It uses that energy to pump a hydro-electric turbine back on land to produce electricity.… Read more
Though most of its features mimic those of the iPod Nano, Creative's new Zen Style music player is trying to up the ante by including Bluetooth and a microSD card slot.
Available next month, the Zen Style M300 is Creative's latest attempt to carve out a bigger slice of the portable music player market.
The $79 device is a combination music, photo, and video player with a built-in FM radio and touch-control buttons to maneuver around the 1.45-inch screen. A built-in mic allows for voice recording.
The included Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity lets people listen to music through any compatible Bluetooth wireless headset as well as through Bluetooth wireless speakers. The microSD card slot can hold up to 32GB of music beyond the unit's internal storage space.… Read more
Many people are turned off the home theater experience by big, expensive speaker systems, but that's not the only way to do surround sound. JBL announced two compact 5.1 speaker systems this morning--the Cinema 300 (for $500) and Cinema 500 (for $700)--each featuring a 150-watt subwoofer. The Cinema 300 system is particularly small, with each front/surround speaker measuring just 9.25 inches high. Both speaker systems are available now and you can check our their full specs at their respective product pages (Cinema 300 and Cinema 500).
We can't say we're crazy about the "dynamic JBL Weave" styling from the press photos--especially with plenty of other stylish options in this price range--but we'll be willing to overlook some aesthetic shortcomings if they deliver better-than-expected sound quality.… Read more
The joke's on you, Sonim XP300 Force. You taunted me with your thick rubber sidings and waterproof, mud-flap-protected charger port and headphone jacks. You bragged with your impressive laundry list of certifications for withstanding heat, cold, humidity, dust, salt, and shock. You laughed in the face of water.
But now you're cracked, over, kaput. Spilling shards of glass as effortlessly as a dog shakes of water after a swim. All I did was toss you a few feet into the air. It's true; I have it on video.
OK, so maybe it could have been a few … Read more