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90 Watt-hour Universal Battery adds 8 hours of Notebook runtime

January 9, 2007 American Power Conversion announced three Universal Notebook Batteries yesterday and the US$200 top-of-the-line, 90 watt-hour model is a ripper offering roughly eight hours of additional runtime in a slim footprint that can rest underneath a notebook computer. Two USB ports supply power over 5V to USB-powered mobile devices, providing additional opportunities to power and charge accessories, such as an iPod and BlackBerry. The Universal Notebook Battery 90 uses lithium polymer battery cells and has an LCD screen that provides real-time status information such as battery capacity, recharge time and battery load, as well as input and output voltage. More details on the batteries within the article – all three batteries will be available in the first quarter of 2007.  Read More

The Safe-Clik-N-Grip Laptop Strap

January 8, 2007 It might seem like a bit of webbing and a few bits of plastic, but anyone who frequents the airport with their laptop will understand the benefits of this clever invention. The TSA requires laptop travellers to remove their laptops from their cases and put them in the official TSA bin in order to be scanned by the x-ray machine. The process itself, although necessary, is very inefficient and time consuming, and a laptop computer could very easily be dropped at many different points during the screening process. Frequent traveller Gary Peters saw enough airports with his laptop that he decided to make life easier and created a prototype which developed into … the Safe-Clik-N-Grip Laptop Strap. Simple, inexpensive … very very handy!  Read More

The SideShow Notebook with auxiliary display

January 8, 2007 This looks like it might offer some significant advantages in the way we use our laptops when we’re on the move. ASUS today introduced a compact 12" wide notebook with an external 2.8" QVGA TFT LCD auxiliary display on the LCD cover with the new W5 series design dubbed SideShow. SideShow is an independent operating system that it can be switched on without booting up the whole system. With imbedded flash memory, users can save selected data (text, image and audio) to SideShow for later review. The external system is well synchronized with the main operating system and users can set for automatic outlook (emails, calendar and meeting appointments) update when the main system is powered on.  Read More

Samsung plans to sell fuel cell for laptops this year

January 2, 2007 The major drawback of the laptop computer at this point in its short history is battery life and with battery technology the subject of massive global R&D, and the promise of fuel cell technology for laptops in the short to medium term, we are drawing ever closer to being able to survive off-the-grid indefinitely. Accordingly, it was heartening to see Samsung’s announcement last week that it intends to commercialise its fuel cell technology for laptops before the end of 2007. The announcement was in Korean, and some tech blogs (notably Playfuls, engadget and akihabaranews) have had a go at translating it, so if you want the original guff, maybe try it yourself with machine translation from Google, Babelfish or WorldLingo. The pictured Samsung is using a fuel cell dock which will apparently run a laptop for a month, though a smaller version is planned for commercialisation.  Read More

Luxury Tulip Ego Laptop arrives in the U.S.

November 15, 2006 We’ve written previously about the EGO luxury laptop from Dutch company Tulip and its interchangeable skins and the good news is that the highly fashionable laptop which launched during Milan’s 2006 Fashion Week is now available on both sides of the Atlantic. The elegant design of the Tulip Ego laptop with its round shapes and fashionable, interchangeable skins is a milestone in computer design – at least for the PC – it’s not hard to imagine something like this from Apple. The Tulip Ego is easily carried either on the shoulder or by hand with its rounded chrome handle and with its interchangeable skin system, it doesn’t just come in designer fabrics, finishes and colors, the skins can be changed anytime, anywhere using a customized USB-stick cap that comes with the laptop. So you can mix and match to suit your dress, surroundings or mood. Retail pricing starts at US$5,000 and stretches into the six figure range for the diamond encrusted version.  Read More

All laptop coolers are not created equal

November 6, 2006 As anyone who owns a current generation laptop knows, they generate a lot of heat, and that heat isn’t good for the laptop or your lap. This story actually began from a press release featuring the NotePal P1, Cooler Master’s lightweight portable note book cooler. Crafted from aluminum, the USB-powered Note Pal P1 (pictured bottom) has a no-skid surface with rubber rings on top, which holds your notebook in place, a compartment underneath for USB cable storage and air vents in the back to draw heat away from your laptop and it really looks the part - we were very taken with its fetching good looks. Then we did a bit of research and found that the boys at BigBruin had already run the NotePal through it’s paces, comparing it with the much older and not-nearly-as-stylish Hiyatek HY-CF-6157-01 Laptop Cooler (pictured top). The story begins there because the lads actually measured how well each did its job of cooling a Dell Inspiron and the “Hiyatek cooler could improve the temperature 8-12C as compared to no cooler, while the NotePal P1 would improve things 2-5C in the same areas.” Quite clearly, there’s much more to a laptop cooler than good looks and the Hiyatek also includes a four slot card reader and three port USB 2.0 hub, all while handling its primary role as a laptop cooler quite nicely.  Read More

MacBook Pro goes Core 2 Duo

October 24, 2006 Apple has updated its entire range of MacBook Pro laptops, all of which are now powered by Intel's new Core 2 Duo line of dual-core CPU's. A choice of 2.16 or 2.33GHz CPU, up to three gigabytes of RAM, an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 (capable of driving a 30" Apple display), and the ability to dual-boot Windows and OS X legally - all in a 1 inch thick case. With the grunt, compatibility, and portability offered here, it's clear why more professionals than ever are realising the futility of remaining subscribed to just one side of the platform wars, and buying their first Mac.  Read More

Belkin's CushTop and PocketTop offer comfort when using your laptop anywhere

September 13, 2006 Using a laptop away from a desk can result in some pretty ugly scenes – there’s a reason you don’t see too many people curled up with a laptop. As usual, if there’s a company likely to apply a bit of lateral thought to improving the situation, it’s Belkin. The company’s new CushTop and PocketTop enable you to use your laptop comfortably while on your couch, bed or floor. The US$40 CushTop acts as a cushion, providing padded comfort between your laptop and your lap. The US$50 PocketTop acts as a case and mobile workstation, providing a built-in cooling pad and storage space for laptop accessories. Both will ship in North America in November, with launches in Asia, Europe and Australia to follow prior to Santa coming (apologies to all those who don’t believe in Santa).  Read More

Field Tested: Lenovo updates the Z series ThinkPad with the Z61t, Z61m, and Z61p

September 10, 2006 Last November, we had a chance to test the new Z60t and Z60m Thinkpads. These devices were the first of Lenovo's 60 series products, and were the first to offer integrated EVDO service from Verizon in the US. They were also the first Thinkpads built to a new set of internal standards for docking station and power supplies that are compatible across the entire 60 generation of products. The Z60 was followed by the T60 and X60 Thinkpads in February, which added Intel's current generation of dual core processors, but unfortunately the Z60 was released too early to get these new gems, and an expected upgrade to the specs of the Z60 didn't materialize when we thought it would. The new Z61t and Z61m laptops refresh their Z60 forbearers, and the Z61p is a new wide screen workstation model based upon the Z61m chassis.  Read More

Dell releases 20-Inch Widescreen Entertainment Laptop

June 1, 2006 One of the most intriguing products of the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show was Dell’s BIG SCREEN mobile concept which caused some interesting comment due to its expected weight. Yesterday, Dell unveiled its portable 20-inch widescreen entertainment PC, the XPS M2010. The system's multimedia features include a 20.1-inch, high-definition widescreen monitor, eight speakers plus a subwoofer, a detachable, full-sized Bluetooth wireless keyboard and gyroscope-enabled remote, a webcam and a slot-load DVD drive. The articulating hinges supporting the display double as a system handle when the system is closed. The XPS M2010 starts at US$3,500, and is available immediately and weighs in at 18.3 pounds.  Read More

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