The end of the week is here again and here we go with a rundown of some of the coolest stories we have seen this week. Monday marked the day the Asus Eee PC 1101HA went on sale in America. The rig is a netbook in name only; the beastie is expensive at about $430. The same day Gigabyte quietly unveiled the T1028X convertible touchscreen netbook. The device has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 and other than the screen, the rest of the machine is typical netbook fare.
Toshiba confirmed that it will be entering the Blu-ray market with new players hitting the market in 2009. Toshiba has also applied to be a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association. The netbook news kept coming early in the week and Dell confirmed that it would be killing off the Mini 12 netbook to focus on the 10-inch screen market.
Apple has been rumored to be working on adding Blu-ray support to iTunes 9 and Blu-ray drives to its iMac line of computers. This would be no surprise; Blu-ray is becoming much more common on notebooks. Specifications for the entry-level Android device from Motorola called the Morrison tipped up early in the week. The device sports a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A CPU, 256MB of RAM and more.
An insider claims that Sony Ericsson is developing a smartbook using non-Intel hardware and offering high-speed internet access. What they are really talking about is a netbook, but I doubt it will run Windows. A page on the Rogers Wireless website in Canada tipped up that showed an 8GB iPhone 3GS spurring rumors of the demise of the iPhone 3G this week. As it turns out the page was in error, or so says Rogers anyway.
One of the more interesting looking, if expensive, games to show up at E3 was Tony Hawk’s ride. The game has a skateboard controller that will ship with it. The game will show up on November 17 at U.S. stores. Pricing for the title is expected to be $120 or more. A screen shot from a Best Buy computer leaked the pricing of the Microsoft Zune HD PMPs a few days before the official announcement on Monday. The prices were later verified in the official Microsoft announcement. On Tuesday we saw one of the first official videos of the Zune HD in action over at CNET. Naturally, the device uses Bing as its search engine.
Sony is having a press conference on August 25 with the eReader team. The speculation is that a wireless device may be hitting that is finally able to fight the Kindle on even ground. Apple added a $50 matte screen option to the 15-inch MacBook Pro this week with the same 1440 x 900 resolution. The only downside is the matte screen isn’t borderless.
After pricing leaked on Monday, the Zune HD went officially on pre-order at Amazon on Tuesday with 16GB and 32GB versions offered for $219.99 and $269.99 respectively with a ship date of September 8. Nintendo filed a patent application this week on an inflatable horse-riding controller. The device seems destined, assuming the patent is granted, to make kids games more fun.
Microsoft and Nokia announced this week that they would be teaming up to bring native Office capability and other features to Symbian devices. I have to wonder how the ruling that Microsoft can’t sell Word in America announced this week will affect the deal. HTC’s Leo broke cover again with a slightly different design. The phone was redesigned to remove the silver speaker that was disliked by many the first time we saw renders of the device.
NVIDIA was hit with more bad news Wednesday when Sony announced that it was adding its name to the growing list of notebook makers who had sold machines with faulty GPUs. Sony will repair notebooks with GPU issues free of charge and has extended the 12-month warranty to 36 months. HTC slipped the factoid out this week that it has sold over a million Magic smartphones globally. At the same time, HTC said it would start to focus efforts on mid-range devices.
We reviewed the slick new Clickfree Transformer for iPod cable this week that turns your iPod into a backup device. We figured it was a good device for a reasonable price. Those rumors of a new slim PS3 are almost as persistent as the rumors of a price cut for the PS3. The slim PS3 rumor tipped up again with a launch date rumored to be at GamesCon. I’ll believe when I see it.
My favorite story of the week came from Lamborghini with the announcement that it was working on a new hybrid Gallardo for 2015. I guess the hybrid will get 12 mpg rather than 8mpg. AMD launched its new high-end Phenom II X4 965 BE processor this week. The CPU packs in some nice performance at a low $245 price tag.
A developer poking around in the software of his Palm Pre found Wednesday that the Pre was taking lots of information about the user and sending it to Palm. Palm maintained that it is not violating the user’s privacy in collecting data. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Elite was confirmed for a price cut this week after a new $299.99 price point was leaked inside a catalog for a retail store. The move also eliminates the Xbox 360 Pro.
Samsung has unveiled new ST500 and ST550 cameras perfect for the self-shooter out there. The cams have an LCD on the front and one of the rear so you can see what the camera has in the frame and check out the pics you took from either side. Those rumors of an Apple tablet computer coming won’t die. A video reportedly of the tablet in action leaked this week prompting arguments over if it was real or not.
Samsung unveiled the ND10 netbook this week that shipped without an OS. This may be the Android fanatic’s netbook of choice, but it would make a nice Linux rig as well. You only get a $50 discount from the normal machine for getting it with no OS though. Dell pulled the wraps off the Zino HD computer that is sized like a nettop but promises desktop class power. Exactly what the specs for the machine is are unknown.
Corsair offered up the fastest 128GB flash drive this week for a stiff $390. According to Corsair, the drive is held back by the speed that USB can handle. Dell’s Android smartphone is getting less and less camera shy ahead of it’s launched. More photos of the phone turned up Thursday showing it turned on and in profile shots. The device seems a bit pedestrian to me.
Lenovo issued a batteyr recall Friday that covers notebooks in six model ranges. The batteries in question could cause ominous error messages on the notebook like “Irreparable damage” or “battery cannot be charged.” The company is offering a free replacement to those affected. More specs and images of the HTC Leo surfaced Friday. The device will have a huge 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, Qualcomm MSM8250 Snapdragon CPU at 1Gz and a 5MP camera. The phone sounds nice to me.
HTC filed for a patent that covers a new method of using a stylus on a capacitive touchscreen. The stylus uses a magnetic tip. The company also filed for a patent on a method of controlling the display to prevent people from seeing what is on your screen. A French teen is claiming he was in mid call on an iPhone when the device started to hiss and the screen blew up. A shard of glass allegedly hit him in the eye. His eye was fine, but his mom said he was scared. Probably time for a new pair of boxers I’m guessing.
NVIDIA talked up its MCP89 and MCP99 successors to the Ion platform on Friday. Rumors have the new chips headed to Apple products in 2010. The chipsets are for Intel-based notebooks. Valve confirmed on Friday that it will not be developing for the PS3 in “any real way” anymore. I don’t get that, I have an Xbox and a PS3, I like the PS3 much better myself. Why leave money on the table.
Another week has come and gone, there is your week in review! Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!