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CES 2008 News: Laptops & UMPCs

My CES 2008 news update comes in the following sections: Laptops & UMPCs, Home Entertainment, Media Players, Cellphones, Gaming and Trick Technologies. To read all the CES 2008 articles, click here. Details of dates, pricing and specifications described below are given from the best information available at the time of writing and may change at any time at each manufacturer’s discretion.
Laptops & UMPCs Part 1

For Part 2, click here.

In alphabetical order:

Asus came to CES with the R50A, which is a UMPC with a 5.6 inch screen due for release around the middle of 2008.

The R50A features a 1.33 GHz processor, 32 GB solid state drive (SSD), 1024 x 600 pixel widescreen, WiMax option and built-in GPS. It weighs only 520 grams but will face stiff competition from LG’s new UMPC entrant below. The Asus R2H will continue to be available and will be replaced by the R7 later this year. The R7 will retain the 7 inch screen form factor of the current R2.

Asus confirmed that 8 and 8.9 inch versions of the EEE PC are being developed. The current EEE PC was present in all its colors, with no confirmed release dates for either the successor models or Windows XP preloaded versions. Dell had an XPS M1730 World of Warcraft Edition on display with both an onboard Physics Accelerator and Logitech Game Control. The accelerator, previously only seen on their desktop range, enhances gameplay graphics whilst the Game Control gives the player live reporting of key in-game stats at all times. The M1730’s keyboard is backlit for gameplay in dark environments. The Dell XPS M1330 was also on show and continues to be a great looking design.

HTC’s Shift was on display and is due to ship in Q1 in the US or CDMA networks (Sprint and Verizon). The Shift uses an 800 MHz processor complemented by 1 GB RAM, a 7 inch screen and a 40 GB hard drive. The initial cost of the Shift should be around $1400, plus the cost of any subscriber services from the wireless carriers.

Intel said that laptops with embedded Wimax technology will be released in mid-2008.

LG were showing off a prototype UMPC with a 4.8 inch screen and a built in slide out keyboard with trackpad. Powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Menlow processor, the UMPC was running Vista Home Premium. Also onboard are 1 GB of RAM, a 40 GB hard drive and it all weighs in at just 590 grams. There’s no pricing yet but an LG representative said that production is likely in 2008. In an interesting design cue, the pointer is stored in a tiny lipstick style hard case which dangles off the side of the computer.

New entrant LimePC showed off three pre-production UMPCs of various screen sizes ranging from mid-size down to very small (approx 3 inches or so). All had a Linux distro with a Web 2.0 interface driven by a Power PC triple-core architecture from Freescale. The CPU has a miniscule 2w power consumption. Q2 production was being suggested and sales channels are being worked out as we speak, although no details or pricing are currently available. There were also desktop and living room versions on display.

Microsoft’s ‘Spotlight on Fashion’ show highlighted some Vista laptops at the cutting edge of design. Featured models included Lenovo’s new U110 and the wafer thin Sony Vaio TZ (see top).

Sandisk demonstrated a few proof of concept laptops with solid state drives (SSD) installed. One was an Apple Macbook, which had a 64 GB SSD onboard and booted up in seventeen seconds. The Sandisk representative I spoke to said that he was not aware of any plans to start supplying SSD drives into MacBooks in a production capacity; the prototype on display was solely a concept machine.

Tablet Kiosk had an EO 7300 concept on display, which is a prototype UMPC with modular add-ons. These modules include USB ports and additional batteries. The 7300 concept can accommodate one module on either side of the screen, so two batteries can be fitted simultaneously. The company is currently seeking feedback from the community and hopes to release a production version sometime in Q3 2008. Meanwhile the current EO will shortly be updated to offer a 1.2 GHz VIA processor.

Read more in part 2

See photos and read CES news about: Laptops & UMPCs, Home Entertainment, Media Players, Cellphones, Gaming and Trick Technologies.

To read all the CES 2008 articles, click here.

Neil Berman


Jan 8, 2008 - Posted by | Apple, Microsoft, Mobile | , , , ,

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