SlashGear Week in Review – Week 33 2008

Chris Davies - Aug 17, 2008

More laptops, netbooks and mobile workstations than you could shake the proverbial stick at this week, with fresh offerings (and more than a few rumors) from many of the big companies.  HP took the wraps off of three mobile workstations, complete with an amazing 17-inch DreamColor option, while Dell and Lenovo both had a version of their own.  Dell went for pure specs, with a maximum 16GB of RAM in their Precision, while Lenovo took a more offbeat view and added a digitizer panel in their W700’s palmrest.

A little more compact, Dell launched their fourth generation Latitude E-series models, and SlashGear was in San Francisco to bring you live images.  Dell’s attempt for the headlines included 19hr battery life (on one particular model) and Instant On functionality.  All well and good, but Gateway perhaps just eases ahead in the bargain stakes with their new P-7811FX Centrino 2 gaming notebook.

As for rumors, Dell figured again with the suggestion that their upcoming ‘E’ netbook will actually be called the Inspiron 910 and launch as early as this coming Friday.  Apple also got a mention, their MacBook Air tipped for an imminent Penryn upgrade.

Chalk & cheese for NVIDIA and ATI this week, as the latter announced a top-spec new graphics card and the former some disappointing financial figures.  The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 already has gamers salivating (and at least two companies promising liquid-cooling kits), while NVIDIA’s investors are probably less enthusiastic at the company’s first loss in five years.

It’s a similar contrast with Intel and VIA; one has a new processor announcement and the other a chipset withdrawal.  Intel’s news was to confirm the Core i7 name for their upcoming Nehalem processor, while VIA decided the motherboard chipset market is no longer for them.  They did manage to push out a new product, though; the EPIA N700 is the company’s lowest-profile Nano-ITX board yet.

Cellphone news normally gets left to our mobile sibling sites, but a few stories were too good to miss this week.  Android hit the headlines again, with the rumor that T-Mobile would be launching the first HTC handset, called the G1, in September.  Meanwhile Apple continues its vow of silence on the iPhone 3G reception issue, while blamed chipmaker Infineon denies its hardware is to blame and AT&T coyly point out that their network is running fine.

We also had a few mobile reviews and a surprise, with Sprint’s AIRAVE femtocell and Samsung’s Omnia i900 both landing on the test bench while news of the Palm Treo Pro leaked.

In other reviews, we looked at Mitsubishi’s 46-inch LCD HDTV (and came away square-eyed but impressed) as well as Iomega’s 500GB DVR Expander.  It’s billed by the company as the easiest way to add storage to your DVR, and for once the claims look to be true.  Finally, Bose’s noise-cancelling headphones got a challenge from Monster Cable’s Beats by Dr. Dre; we loved them.

Having just settled my electricity bill, however, and sobbed over every digit on the check, my favorite piece of news from the week is that IKEA are planning to sell cheap solar panels and other eco-technology.  We’ll have to wait anything from two to four years to see flat-pack, low-cost solar cells on their shelves; with power prices continuing to rise, it won’t be a moment too soon.

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