AMD answers Intel with 'Congo,' HP laptop

Updated at 5:15 p.m. PDT: correcting for AMD dual-core Neo in HP dv2 laptop and adding Acer Aspire Timeline AS3810T discussion.

Advanced Micro Devices will debut its dual-core low-power Athlon chip technology on an updated laptop from Hewlett-Packard next week. This will be followed by "Congo" low-power silicon later this year.

AMD is aiming its Neo technology at the ultra-thin laptop market. This is the same market that Intel has addressed for a long time with its ULV (ultra-low-voltage) chips. However, until very recently, laptops using Intel's ULV chips were expensive "executive jewelry," … Read more

Apple MacBook Air: Encore please

The Apple MacBook Air has remained almost unchanged for a year and a half--a testament to the staying power of its design. So, how will Apple respond to the wave of inexpensive, ultra-thin lookalikes hitting the market over the next six months?

The Air was a sensation when it debuted in January of 2008. Not that it sold by the boatloads, but the stunning form factor set off an industrial-design frenzy. Ergo, the Dell Adamo and the raft of "ultra-thin" laptops in the hopper as a result of Intel's push to get its "ULV" (ultra-low-voltage) … Read more

Intel's sales chief talks Netbooks vs. notebooks

Unleashing innovation is key no matter what laptop category you're talking about--whether Netbooks or low-cost notebooks, said Intel's sales chief, ahead of this week's Computex trade show in Taipei.

I spoke briefly with Intel's marketing chief Sean Maloney--who is at Computex this week--on Monday night and asked him about how the wave of low-cost, thin notebooks based on his company's "ULV" (ultra-low-voltage) chips may affect Netbook sales.

New, aesthetically appealing, inexpensive notebooks, such as the $699 Acer Aspire Timeline, could make Netbooks less attractive, which pin a lot of their popularity on bargain-basement … Read more

Intel: The future of Netbook vs. notebook

Intel said Netbook cannibalization of notebook PC sales is about 20 percent in Europe, according to a news report Wednesday. But this trend may ebb later this year when the "affordable" ultra-thin laptop category takes off, leading to a cannibalization reversal of sorts.

Christian Morales, Intel's European sales chief, said Netbook sales were about 16 percent of all notebook sales globally, and a little higher in Western Europe, according to Reuters. "In Britain and Italy they may account for as much as a quarter of all notebook sales," he told Reuters.

Netbooks are small, inexpensive … Read more

Apple offers students free iPod Touch with Mac purchase

It's been a busy day for Apple.

In addition to quietly updating the consumer-friendly MacBook, Apple on Wednesday also launched an iPod promotion targeted to students.

With the promotion, students, faculty, or staff members can buy a MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac and get a free iPod Touch. Of course, students and educators can also see if they qualify for additional savings through Apple's education store.

There is a bit of a catch. You have to buy the iPod Touch at the same time as the Mac to qualify for a rebate. After the purchase, you … Read more

Verizon MiFi: Best laptop 3G yet?

Verizon's tiny MiFi 2200 router may be the best solution yet for laptop 3G: easily pocketable, a snap to set up, and fast.

Until I picked up the credit-card-size (a few stacked credit cards, to be more exact) MiFi router, I had been connecting via 3G in two ways: one, using a built-in 3G Verizon module inside my Hewlett-Packard laptop and, two, using a BlackBerry Storm as a 3G modem with my MacBook Air.

3G typically provides connection speeds below standard DSL-fed Wi-Fi but is fast enough so the difference is almost undetectable when doing undemanding Web surfing. (See … Read more

Future air-fueled battery could store 10 times more power

A new type of air-fueled battery being studied could provide up to 10 times the energy storage of designs currently available, and someday be used to power electric cars, mobile phones, and laptops, say researchers.

"Our results so far are very encouraging and have far exceeded our expectations," said professor Peter Bruce, of the University of St Andrews' chemistry department, in a news release Monday.

The new idea the researchers are examining is to replace the lithium cobalt oxide electrode in today's rechargeable lithium batteries with a porous carbon electrode. This allows lithium ions and electrons in … Read more

Webware 100 winner: Adobe AIR

Site: Category: Infrastructure & Storage

Adobe's AIR platform lets users on multiple computing platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux) use the same applications. Because the runtime platform is identical, developers can focus on making one version of that product, and making it well.

Since launching to developers in early 2007, there are now more than 500 applications for the runtime, many of which go in tandem with existing Web services. AIR has also allowed developers to make hybrid applications, or desktop tools that can integrate with various Web services, while still allowing some offline functionality that Web … Read more

GPS upgrade behind schedule and over budget

Ubiquitous, reliable, and free to the public, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is now taken for granted, but don't dump those maps from the glove box just yet, since it's uncertain for how long the U.S. government can continue to deliver.

The US plans to invest more than $5.8 billion through 2013 to modernize and replenish the existing GPS satellite constellation. But facing cost overruns of $870 million and "significant" technical problems, the US Air Force, which is in charge of GPS acquisition, has struggled to build and deploy the next generation satellites on … Read more

Ford's crash-test smarties

Ford Motor offered a glimpse into one of its testing labs on Tuesday. The showcase was assumably to promote the new safety features in its upcoming lineup of cars, and as you can imagine, the peek into this world of crash test dummies is rather amusing.

One of the technologies Ford talked about testing was a new air bag system, which was put in the 2009 F-150 and will be in the 2010 Ford Taurus. Instead of being acceleration-based, the new sensors are pressure-based, which makes them more accurate, according to Ford, but also more sensitive.

The company wanted to … Read more