Asus launches Eee S101 MacBook Air killer  

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Taiwanese manufacturers are not known for inviting the world's press to fancy product launches, but this afternoon in rainy Taipei, Asus

put on a little fashion show to launch the latest Eee PC, the S101. This is a cut above the previous models in being thin and stylish, and Asus reckons it's "a successful melding of fashion and functionality" that puts it at the "pinnacle of netbook computing." And while it comes at a higher price -- $699 -- it's much lighter (1kg) and cheaper than a MacBook Air, it looks nicer, and it has a much more practical specification.

At around 18-25mm, the S101 isn't as thin as a MacBook Air, but it's certainly thin enough. And where the MacBook Air makes pointless sacrifices that reduce its practicality, the S101 does the business. It has three USB ports instead of one, it has a built-in 4-in-1 card reader, it has a real RJ-45 Ethernet socket, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. And you can change the battery yourself, without undoing 19 screws. Asus reckons the S101 will run for about five hours, but when the lithium polymer battery runs out, you simply swap it for a spare.

Since the S101 is a netbook rather than a notebook, the screen is 10.2 inches rather than the MacBook Air's 13.3 inches. However, it does offer similar resolution: you can choose 1024 x 768, 1024 x 600, or 800 x 600.

The first S101 runs Windows XP Home in 1GB of memory and a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), to fit in with Microsoft's netbook guidelines. Asus is chipping in another 16GB on a memory card plus a free 30GB of online storage. However, two Linux versions, which will follow in a few weeks, are expected to offer 32GB or 64GB of SSD.

In use, the S101 feels snappy, though the spec is familiar enough -- Intel Atom processor and Intel 945 Express (GMA 950) graphics with 128MB pinched from main memory. (full story Link)


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Creative, a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, announces the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi™ Go! Approved by the World Championship Gaming Series™ and tested by world-renowned gamer Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty' Wendel, the USB-powered Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! uses acclaimed X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity™ audio technology to enable users to experience ultra-realistic gaming with surround sound over headphones.
Sporting a sleek and distinctive black finish, the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! is incredibly lightweight (less than 20g) and compact. Its 1GB of built-in flash memory stores all the software needed for fast and easy installation on any notebook or desktop PC without requiring a CD. It also incorporates Read/Write Protection which prevents important files being accidentally deleted, so users can save their custom gaming profiles, plug-ins, add-ons and any other essential files.
The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! harnesses the power and performance of Creative's award-winning X-Fi audio technology, which enables users to experience ultra-realistic sound effects and 3D surround that totally immerse them in the game. X-Fi technology features X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi CMSS-3D. X-Fi Crystalizer intelligently revitalises and restores details lost during the compression of MP3 music or movie soundtracks, enabling users to hear everything in crystal clarity. X-Fi CMSS-3D expands stereo games, MP3s and digital movies into virtual surround over speakers or headphones. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! also supports Creative EAX® Advanced HD™ 4.0 which provides a more realistic gaming experience. Over 400 game titles currently use Creative EAX technology to improve their sound effects.
The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! comes bundled with Creative ALchemy software. This restores surround sound under Windows Vista so that users can enjoy the same great gaming experience they had under Windows XP. The latest VoiceFX technology provides additional fun, allowing users to select over 18 different voice effects for their avatars during online games, or to amuse their friends during voice chats. (full story Link)

Sprint launches Xohm 4G WiMAX  

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Sprint today took the wraps off its Xohm wireless network in Baltimore, Md. Xohm, which uses Samsung WiMAX technology on the 2.5 GHz spectrum, offers faster download speeds than current 3G wireless networks. For instance, while AT&T's fastest HSDPA network claims speeds up to 3.6Mbps, our real-world tests have rarely topped 1Mbps downloads. Sprint's Xohm network hopes to average 2-4Mbps average download speeds, which is a great, though perhaps not revolutionary improvement over the current technology. Xohm network devices will operate somewhat faster while stationary than on-the-go, which means that the network will also be marketed as a home broadband replacement.

The Xohm-enabled hardware
Initial devices available for use on the Xohm network focus primarily on heavy data usage. Wireless cards from Samsung, and modems from companies like ZyXel and ZTE will bring data access to laptop and desktop machines, while the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet will be the only standalone portable device available at launch. Besides Sprint's obvious voice pedigree, the company seems to be taking an ambivalent view of voice over Xohm. Instead, the network will follow an "Open Internet" business model, with few restrictions on the type of Internet App that will work on the service.
Among the first device makers on board are laptop manufacturers like Acer, Asus (check out the Asus F8va here), Lenovo and Toshiba. All of them have announced new or upcoming laptops that will come will include onboard suport for integrated Xohm networking. Of course, we'd really like to see some of those new netbooks, like the Asus EEE PC or the Acer Aspire One, start earning their keep by integrating the fast WiMAX abilities. We think this would make those machines much more compelling.

A new way to buy wireless
It is this aspect of the Xohm network that has us most excited. While faster network speeds were always inevitable as networks evolved, we're excited to see Sprint embrace a new pricing and buying structure in the new network. The Xohm network is available without any contracts. Users simply buy a device and activate their plan through a unified Web site. Pricing will range from $10 for a single day's use, to $25 for a stationary modem or Xohm-enabled device, up to $30 per month for a mobile device. Sprint will also initially offer a $50 deal for two devices. (full story Link)

HTC S740: Dual Keypad Smartphone  

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HTC has come out with a design which others have not dared to try. A dual keypad one with a normal keypad on the top like any ordinary phones and the slider opening up to unveil a full scale QWERTY keypad.
The only awkward thing we notice in the phone is the screen when used with the full-scale keypad. It just doesn’t fit. When using a QWERTY keypad you need a complete display to view emails and other things but due to the 12-keypad on the front this is not possible.
The data connectivity offered by the HTC S740 is faster than 3G coming up to over 7MBPS. The phone weighs around 140 grams and measures 116.3 x 43.4 x 16.3 mm with a 2.4 inch QVGA display. Normally we would expect a VGA display but due to the small scren size we will have to settle for QVGA. Other features like Wi-Fi which has become customary in all new phones along with 256MB of inbuilt memory, 3.5mm audio jack, and Usb 2.0 port.
The S740 comes with a Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system running on Qualcom MSM7225 , 528 Mhz processor. The phone is WCDMA compatible along with HSDPA and GSM capable. There is GPS and AGPS navigation along with a FM radio built-in.
This HTC smartphone is scheduled to be released in mid September 2008 and could retail for $550 without carrier subsidy. (story Link)

October: 160GB PS3 and PSP is coming  

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Details on the new PlayStation 3 have been revealed officially by Sony today. Among the announcements was the crucial release date of 31st October 2008. This launch date is for Europe only, it will hit the streets in the US in November. We could see the new 160GB PS3 coming to India only in 2009.
The new technology in the PS3 includes the wireless keypad which enables you to type on it.
On the other hand the new PlayStationPortable will come with a built-in microphone and an anti-reflective screen.
"Consumers also are utilising PS3 as an entertainment hub for their digital media, placing content such as their entire music collection on the hard drive," said Jack Tretton who is the head of the America Sony gaming division.
The 160 GB PS3 will cost about 450 Euros, and close to $500 in the USA. The PSP will be launched at an introductory price of $200. (story Link)

Sony Ericsson TM506 Clamshell  

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T-Mobile has come out with a report on the launching of the Sony Ericsson TM506 mobile phone in the United States as early as next month. The phone will retail only from T-Mobile online and retail stores and the price is not yet disclosed.
The phone has a nice compact design and is available with Emrald and Amber color. The phone has a ebony glass type finish and has an external display screen for photo calling.
The Phone supports 3G technology which ensures you good download speed and streaming video/audio. It comes along with a 2megapixel camera for video and still photography.
The SE TM506 measures about 3.7 x 1.9 x 0.7inches and weighs close to 3.5 ounces. The battery of the phone lasts for a reported 9 and half hours on GSm and stand by of 250 hours. The phone is equipped with both UMTS network as well as HSDPA connectivity with Tri-band GSM. (story Link)

BenQ's E2200HD now in India  

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BenQ corp has launched the first 22 inch or so to say 21.5 inch 1080p Full HD LCD monitor. The monitor is equipped with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution with 300 cd/m2 brightness. It comes with VGA and HDMI inputs with a headphone jack.
The LCD has a 16:9 aspect ratio and has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
The E2200HD comes with integrated speakers and can render content from STBs, camcorders and DVD players. The LCD Monitor will be available for only Rs. 13,500 which is a pretty neat price for what you are getting. (story Link) - Blog Search