Alienware made an interesting announcement today with the news that, "for a limited time," you can order a bare-bones Alienware case directly from the Dell-owned boutique. Just $400 will get you the classic P2 Alienware chassis in either silver or black, complete with an electric-blue lighting kit. It does not come with the custom lighting software that lets you tie the light behavior to various applications, as found on its full-fledged systems. At $400, Alienware's case becomes one of, if not the single most expensive bare-bones kits on the market. Of course, few others look like an … Read more
Gateway is recalling 14,000 lithium-ion notebook batteries, the company said Tuesday.
The announcement comes after four reports of Gateway notebooks overheating over the last few years. One of the incidents caused "minor property damage," according to Gateway. The batteries in question are used in two models of its notebooks, the 400VTX and 450ROG, sold in the U.S. between May and August 2003.
"The root cause of this battery failure became apparent as the batteries aged and performed repetitive recharging cycles. After an in-depth analysis of the four reported incidents, Gateway took proactive measures to launch … Read more
Patterned media and heat assisted. Those are fightin' words in the hard drive industry.
Patterned media technology, actively promoted by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, stores data in tiny bits laid down in a platter in an intricate pattern. The bits are separated by each other to prevent data corruption. By contrast, in heat assist drives, championed by Seagate Technologies, a bit gets heated to a few hundred degrees Celsius, gets imprinted with data, and then cools down. (We wrote an early story on the debate here.)
Both technologies will allow hard drives to store more data than they do now, … Read more
Here's a good rule of thumb: when a product is recalled for, say, bursting into flames, take the time to get the replacement.
A Toshiba laptop containing a recalled Sony battery caught fire and burned a desk in Great Britain last month, Toshiba said today. The laptop maker asked Sony to investigate the incident, and a short circuit in the battery pack was deemed the culprit. Toshiba says it will reach out to customers to ensure they are aware of the potential danger of continuing use of recalled batteries. A list of 28 models of affected laptop will be … Read more
Stronger-than-expected notebook shipments in the beginning of the year should push the overall growth of the PC market higher than previously anticipated, according to market research firm iSuppli.
The worldwide PC industry is expected to reach 264 million units in 2007, up 11.2 percent from 239 million units shipped last year, according to iSuppli. The previous estimate was 10.7 percent growth for the year.
The firm, which periodically issues forecasts for a variety of markets, said Monday that shipments of notebook PCs in the first quarter of 2007 were up 23 percent, 3 percent higher than previously anticipated. … Read more
Blu-ray is extending its early lead in the high-def video wars.
Blockbuster Inc. announced on Monday that it would rent only Blu-ray discs, and not HD DVDs, in its 1,700 company-owned stores. That's supposed to take effect by mid-July.
The company said the decision was based on Blu-ray rentals "significantly outpacing" HD DVD rentals, and added that both formats will be available through its Web site.
While the dueling formats are technically somewhat similar, Blu-ray enjoys the advantage of being backed by more film studios (Sony, 20th Century Fox, Buena Vista, and Lionsgate) vs. HD DVD, … Read more
Acer is cutting its sales forecast and it is blaming the shortfall on a smaller-than-expected boost from the release of Windows Vista, Taipei Times reported Friday.
Acer Chairman Wang Jeng-tang on Thursday told shareholders that company revenue for the year "will grow 30 percent to 40 percent compared to last year" and that Vista hadn't affected PC sales as positively as expected. Previously, Acer had expected greater than 40 percent growth. (Standard disclaimer: things often get lost in the translation in media reports from Taiwan, so you may want to take the report with a grain of … Read more
You can check out our slide show, posted last week, for a rundown of the main features of Windows Home Server. We don't want to award anyone before the final product is out, but we'll say that we came out of the closed beta very impressed. We suspect it will take a while for the non-tech-savvy to really grasp the benefits of Home Server, but thankfully, this week Microsoft threw the doors open to the general public to download and check out its newest Home Server release candidate.
Microsoft's Home Server software is one step closer to reality.
The software maker on Tuesday released a near-final "release candidate" version of Windows Home Server, a custom version of its Windows Server 2003 operating system. A final version is expected to come out later this year. Microsoft is pitching the software as an option for multi-PC households to manage burgeoning collections of media files.
Chairman Bill Gates announced plans for the product at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, saying that HP would build a product based on the software. At last month's Windows Hardware Engineering … Read more
Forget Roy G. Biv--the rainbow according to Sony includes such colors as sangria, cosmopolitan, dove, and indigo. At least, those are the shades the company offers for its new Vaio CR series laptops. (City-dwellers, take heart: they're also available in black.)
Sony has long led the laptop-as-fashion-accessory movement (see previous C series models and the FJ series that started it all), offering laptops in wild colors when other manufacturers were just starting to experiment with hues beyond black and gray. The CR series is no different, featuring a case that is saturated with color, right down to the … Read more