News Bits: Old Battery Technology may Finally be Used in Notebooks, Kohjinsha Introduces Newest UMPC, Dell Launches Free Recycling in More Markets

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Old Battery Technology may Finally be Used in Notebooks

Notebook makers will "likely" soon choose to incorporate lithium polymer batteries over the current commonly used type, lithium ion batteries, Sony Electronics President Stan Glasgow said during a meeting with reporters. This technology emerged nine years ago, but has rarely been used.

Lithium polymer batteries use lithium as an active ingredient. Lithium is a volatile material, but the lithium in these batteries isn’t packed into cells as it is in lithium ion batteries. Instead, it is contained in a polymer gel and that is one reason why industrial designers like them. The gel packs can be squeezed into devices’ empty spaces. These gel batteries can’t provide the same sort of energy density as lithium ion batteries, but that’s now a plus.

Manufacturers and in particular Sony, have pushed the energy density or capacity of lithium ion batteries. When an internal short occurs, it can set off a chain reaction and start a fire. Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Apple Computer and others, in conjunction with Sony, have offered to take back millions of lithium ion batteries shipped with particular notebooks in the past two years. No word on when manufactures may switch from using lithium ion to lithium polymer batteries.

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Kohjinsha Introduces Newest UMPC

While major manufacturers such as Samsung and ASUS offer computers that fit the exact UMPC specifications from Microsoft, other companies such as Kohjinsha provide exciting products at much lower prices. Unfortunately we will probably never see these Tablets here in the U.S.

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The SA1F00 is an ultra compact computer with a seven inch display. This technology is derived from video systems and Japanese car GPS systems, which explains its poor resolution of only 800×480. Kohjinsha offers two versions of its UMPC on the Japanese and Korean markets, the SA1F00A and the SA1F00B. The only difference between them is the size of the hard drive.

Another special feature of this UMPC is its pivot screen that allows you to use the computer in slate mode like a Tablet PC or in PC mode. The UMPC has flexible communication options both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which is a plus along with its size and weight. The only negative is the CPU, which lacks some power compared to the norm, but the 500MHz AMD Geode CPU is fine for surfing the web, email and office tasks. The SA1F00 is available in Japan and Korea starting around $1,000 and there is no word of international sales plans.

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Dell Launches Free Recycling in More Markets

Dell has launched free recycling in several additional markets worldwide, meeting a timetable set in June to provide free recycling of any Dell-branded product for consumers worldwide as part of its global recycling policy. This recent expansion of recycling services into Brazil, China, India, South Korea, Mexico and Taiwan has helped them meet their goal. Dell is the first and only computer manufacturer to offer such a program.

This recycling offer is designed for consumers and includes responsible recycling of used Dell-branded computers, notebooks and peripheral equipment at no-charge. The service does not require a replacement purchase. More details are available at www.dell.com/recycling. Since 2004, Dell has offered U.S. consumers no-charge recycling on any brand of used computer or printer with the purchase of a new Dell. Dell supports a policy that would make all manufacturers responsible for offering recovery and recycling services for their own brand products from consumers at no charge.

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