News Bits: Widescreen X61 Tablet Coming, SwitchBack Rugged UMPC Shipping, NVidia 8800M-GTX Next Month, Alienware Launch Event and Contest

by Reads (5,198)

Widescreen ThinkPad X61 tablet coming soon

For those users who love their Lenovo ThinkPads, but want a widescreen, it looks like you may be in luck. Specs for the X61 tablet with a WXGA (1280×800) display have been spotted on a Chinese website. There is no word yet if or when we will see this model in the U.S. or how much they will cost, but I am sure it will be well worth it.

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Roper Mobile Technology shipping SwitchBack rugged PC

Roper Mobile Technology today announced the acquisition of technology development firm Black Diamond Advanced Technology. With this acquisition, Roper Mobile Technology announces the commercial availability of its flagship product, the SwitchBack PC. Debuted last fall as the world’s first rugged UMPC, the SwitchBack is a powerful Windows XP-based PC in a lightweight, rugged form factor.

The SwitchBack will run on a 1.0GHz Intel Celeron M processor and have from 2GB-120GB of optional storage. It meets military standards, has a 5.6" WSVGA touchscreen display, hot-swappable battery, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g, GPS and Windows XP or Vista as the OS. The SwitchBack is available now from Roper Mobile Technology, but you have to contact them for pricing.

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Nvidia G92 high-end GPU coming to notebooks

According to The Inquirer, Nvidia is making a die-shrunk version of its G80 for notebooks. The mobile card will probably be called the 8800M-GTX and will be based off the desktop 8800GT. It will be manufactured in the MXM form factor and will initially come to market with 512MB of dedicated memory; a 256MB version will follow. The TDP of the card is 35W, meaning the card is most likely downclocked and uses various power saving settings. Unfortunately, the card will only work for MXM Type III cards due to thermal restrictions. There is no word on how many shader units the card will have.

This chip is intended to replace the current high-end GPU for notebooks, the Go7950GTX. The release date is supposed to be in the third week of November; expect to see it appear in high-end notebooks from Clevo, Dell, and Toshiba.

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Special thanks to NBR forum member Gophn for submitting this story

Alienware contest and launch event in New York November 19

Alienware is running a contest on its site where you have to decode an Alien message. The interesting thing is the prize. You win a trip to New York City for a "Launch Event". Meaning something is coming soon. More interesting is that the rumored new Nvidia 8800M GTX graphics card is supposed to come out on the 19th (see the above news bit). Hmmm. No prizes to anyone that can guess what the launch might be for!

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OLPC shipments still on schedule says Quanta

According to Quanta, shipments of the XO laptop are still on schedule for November. OLPC executives had stated there would be a delay due to bugs, but Quanta said they knew nothing of the bugs. Quanta said they already started producing the laptops and production is going smoothly. Quanta did not give out any indication of how many units would be produced in the first batch.

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Pinnacle introduces PCTV HD Ultimate Stick

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Pinnacle has released their new PCTV HD Ultimate Stick, which comes in a USB form factor and allows users to tune into free over-the-air HDTV signals and watch them on their Windows computer. The best part is that no special software is needed; the Pinnacle TV Center Pro software is loaded on the device and it has enough flash memory to store two hours of standard definition (SD) TV. It takes coaxial, S-video, and composite video inputs.

The card retails for $130 and comes with an antenna and remote.

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Special thanks to NBR forum member ronaldheld for submitting this story

Microsoft posts strong quarterly sales and profit growth

On October 25 Microsoft reported strong sales and profit growth for this quarter, which came as a surprise to Wall Street analysts. While the company is trailing Google in the Internet services and online advertising markets, its Windows Vista operating system and Office 2007 are selling better than expected. Microsoft shares jumped 12 percent in after-hours trading to $35.76/share.

Microsoft gave three reasons for the strong results; the sales of personal computers going up worldwide 14 to 16 percent, increased sales of its premium-priced versions of Windows and Office, and its growing server software group, from which sales were up 16 percent.

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