So we told you that we are giving away an HP HDX Dragon alongside 31 other tech sites. We just wanted to hit you with an update on the 31 Days of the Dragon contest. Today is May 22, which means you have access to the following contests today - click on the site names for the details on their contest rules:
Of course, our contest starts on May 31, so you are going to want to check back here in nine days to get our specific contest rules. If you want to get a jump on it, one thing we will say if you will need a Gear Live account to enter. We’ve already said too much!
Microsoft has announced that it plans to install Windows XP to the inexpensive XOs that now run a customized version of Linux. To do this, OLPC spokesperson Kyle Austin says that they must redesign them and add $7.00 worth of hardware to build a stripped down version for an additional $3.00. While this might be a good thing for Microsoft, we note that the laptop, which started out as a $100.00 device, is now creeping up towards the $200.00 mark. As per usual, the OLPC people still claim that when the OX’s usage becomes more widespread, the price will come down.
Read More | Forbes
Hey, remember that HP HDX Dragon PC that we unboxed a few months ago? Well, HP has gone and upgraded the specs on that puppy, and they want us to give one of them to you guys. Not just the computer, but a few Blu-ray movies, a few PC games, and a bunch of software too. All in all, if you were to purchase everything we are giving away on your own, you’d end up spending somewhere around $5,196.00. Yeah, I said it. Go ahead and read that again.
No, here is the real kicker. Now only are we here at Gear Live giving away one of these 1080p beasts, but thirty other sites are also going to be giving away the exact same package, including our friends over at ArsTechnica, Lockergnome, JKOnTheRun, and Jake Ludington’s MediaBlab. That means you have 31 chances to win. Seriously. That’s why we are calling it 31 Days of the Dragon.
Now, each site is going to set their own criteria for how they are going to run things, and we will be announcing what we will be doing soon. Our giveaway date for the HDX Dragon is June 7, 2008. You’d better keep it locked here, peeps. Oh, and anyone in the world is eligible to win.
Hit the break for the full scoop on everything we are giving away, which other sites are also giving these away, and an unboxing video of the HDX Dragon.
Read More | 31 Days of the Dragon
Today, HP made rumors of their releasing a low-cost ultra-portable PC a reality with the official announcement of the HP 2133 Mini-Note. Meant for the education market, the HP 2133 Mini-Note is designed with students in mind, and is optimized for both in-classroom and out-of-school learning. The 2133 Mini-Note features an 8.9-inch WXGA scratch-resistant display, lightweight anodized aluminum shell,and Wi-Fi. HP also threw in their 3D DriveGuard technology, which locks the drive in the event of sudden movement for protection of data, as well as HP DuraKeys, which prevents fading. You know kids and their greasy fingers.
“HP listened to our needs and now is delivering a product designed by education for education,” said Chris Sieger, director of information technology for Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia. “Teachers and technology are the two most important assets in education. HP’s announcement demonstrates that it understands what schools need from industry.”
HP is aiming to keep this one inexpensive, so the Mini-Note starts at $499 USD. You can add on things like Bluetooth, integrated VGA webcam, and CompuTrace software which helps local law enforcement track stolen computers.
The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC should be available later this month, and you can check out more images of the device in our Mini-Note photo gallery.
Gallery: HP 2133 Mini-Note PC launches
Ever since Penryn chips started making their way into mobile computers, we all knew it was just a matter of time before Apple bumped their mobiles to the latest chips from Intel as well. This morning, in their Tuesday update, they did just that. Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro are now rocking the Penryn Core 2 Duo chipset. If you are eyeing the MacBook Pro, those have the added bonus of a 6 MB L2 cache if you choose a 2.5 or 2.6 GHz chip, and Multi-Touch trackpads are now standard . That’s hot.
For the MacBook, pricing starts at $1099 for the base model, which includes a Combo drive instead of a SuperDrive, a 2.1 GHz chip, a 120GB hard drive, and 1 GB of RAM. For $200 more, you get a 2.4 GHz chip, an additional gig of RAM, a SuperDrive, and a 160 GB drive. If you need more hard drive space than that, you can get the Black MacBook, which hooks you up with 250 GB of storage.
Over on the MacBook Pro side of things, $1,999 gets you a 2.4 GHz chip, 2 GB of RAM, a 200 GB hard drive, double-layer SuperDrive, and a 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT. If you move up to the $2,499 model, you are bumped up to a 2.5 GHz chip (with 6 MB L2 cache!), a 250 GB hard drive, and a 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT. For $2,799, you get all the same specs, but you are bumped up to a 17-inch screen, if that’s your thing.
All in all, we’d say this is a worthy upgrade if your mobile computer is looking a bit long in the tooth.
Read More | Apple Press Release
Bluelounge’s SpaceStation is a nifty little organizer for those with laptops. Rest it on its rubber pad and it will ergonomically raise the keyboard 5mm while allowing a cool flow of air. Cords will roll up into any of the parts of the case. Use the front for an iPod, the back for the laptop or camera, and the side for a scanner. We don’t want to forget the handy rail and page holder. Available in black or white, you can also position it off center for other accessories. All this and an included USB hub are yours for $79.95.
Read More | Bluelounge
The MacBook Air is the latest gem of a notebook from the Apple folks. Aimed at those who need something super portable (or, ultra-portable), the Air features a 13-inch LED backlit screen, a full-sized backlit keyboard, and it weighs just three pounds.
We got our hands on the SSD version of the MacBook Air, so we boot it up and give you a look at it’s startup time as well. The Air comes with a
Micro DVI-to-DVI cable, and
Micro DVI-to-VGA cable, and the expected power charger and software. We also noticed that the box it ships in is a lot smaller than those of previous Apple notebooks. Check out the video to see for yourself.
HP’s Kevin Wentzel gives us a look at the HP and MTV Take Action Make Art winning notebook design, as well as a first-look at the TX-2000 tablet, during CES. Kevin goes into the HP Imprint process, which is how they get their notebook finishes looking completely fantastic. He also goes into the different specifications that you can get on the new HP notebook computers, which can really be powerhouses if you need them to be. We can expect to see the Artist Edition available this Spring, which will be a limited run. Definitely a collector’s item. Check the video for the full scoop on the latest on HP notebooks.
New this week from Alienware is their desktop replacement laptop, the Area 51 M15x. Weighing in at only 7 pounds, with a battery life of 4 hours (and the added bonus of a second battery), and a rear cooling system, the M15x is the only 15” laptop to feature Intel’s Core 2 Extreme 2.8 gHz processor.
With a screen resolution of 1920x1080, the M15x sports true 1080p to fully exploit the binary graphics - it can switch between its NVIDIA 8800 512 mhz graphics card and its integrated Intel card, which is perfect for getting the most out of DVDs viewed on the integrated Blu-Ray player. It also has an HDMI output to enjoy those Blu-Ray movies on a big screen. Alienware’s Area 51 M15x is available at a price point of around $2200 to $2300.
We take a close look at AMD‘s recently announced “Puma” notebook platform. Puma is a tightly-knit system for notebook suppliers comprising of the chipset, CPU, GPU and wireless chipset. Similar in some ways to their Spider desktop platform, Puma takes it to the next level by allowing for a hybrid integrated and discreet graphics solution. While Intel has something similar, AMD is apparently the first to offer a dynamically switchable system, allowing your notebook to automatically switch to integrated graphics when it detects you’ve gone on battery, or to allow you to switch manually. I asked if they plan on making it automatic, based on load, which they seemed to think was a pretty great idea and relatively easy to achieve as well. What’s more, despite the fact that the integrated and discreet GPUs are chips of differing abilities and specs, they’re still able to operate in Crossfire/hybrid mode, providing an extra boost in power and achieving some very impressive framerates.
AMD shows us their reference bench system and two other identically-configured systems, the only difference between them an Intel versus AMD integrated graphics chipset. (And CPU, naturally.) With a price difference of around $25 to AMD’s favor, the AMD integrated chip actually performs considerably better in their demo, grain of salt included. The reference system shows off their hybrid processing and lets us see what framerates we might be able to hit on an entry- to mid-level hybrid Puma system.
Puma also brings about something that’s been announced with Intel as well—the ability to deactivate CPU cores and speeds, instead of just stepping down speed. This, coupled with an intelligent HD decoder will bring about several hours of additional battery life.