In this episode of Unboxing Live, we open up the OLPC XO-1. If that doesn’t sound familiar, this is the infamous One Laptop Per Child computer, aimed to help children in third-world countries with learning. The XO-1, previously known as the $100 Laptop or Children’s Machine, is an inexpensive laptop computer intended to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world, to provide them with access to knowledge, and opportunities to “explore, experiment and express themselves”. The laptop is developed by the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) social welfare organization, and manufactured by the Taiwanese computer company, Quanta Computer.
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
Apple‘s latest gem, the MacBook Air, has been around for just about two weeks now. We got our hands on one of the SSD-based units, and are currently working on our full review. In the meantime, we figured this unboxing gallery might be of interest. We grabbed about 40 shots of the notebook that sports the mad thinness, all for your viewing pleasure in our MacBook Air unboxing gallery.
Read More | MacBook Air unboxing gallery
Gallery: Gallery: MacBook Air unboxing
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.
During this morning’s MacWorld keynote, Steve Jobs announced the new MacBook Air notebook. We’ve all been expecting some sort of Apple sub-notebook, and this one looks amazing. Apple it touting this as the “world’s thinnest notebook”. The MacBook Air is 0.16-inches to 0.76-inches. The thickest part of the Air is thinner than the thinnest part of a Sony TZ series notebook. That is impressive. The device features an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive, with a 64 GB SSD drive as an option. It ships standard with 2 GB of RAM and a 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo chip, with the option to switch to 1.8 GHz. Other features include a 45-watt MagSafe, 1 USB 2.0 port, a Micro-DVI port, and audio out. There is no Ethernet port (otherwise they couldn’t have gotten it this thin) so you will have to rely on the built-in 802.11n WiFI and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. The MacBook Air also leaves out the optical drive, but you can purchase an external SuperDrive accessory for $99 USD. It also ships with software that allows it to “borrow” the optical drive of another Mac or PC. Expect 5 hours of battery life out of this one - or more if you opt for the SSD drive. The MacBook Air will hit retail in about two weeks, and will cost $1799. Pre-orders start today.
Read More | MacBook Air Product Page
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.
In this episode, we open up the HP Pavilion HDX Dragon PC. This thing is a monster - a 20.1-inch notebook that specializes in home entertainment, sporting dual-lamp displays and weighing in at 15.5 pounds. Other stats of note on the HDX Dragon are the 64-bit Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB included memory (it supports up to 4GB), HP Imprint casing (looks very sleek), and fingerprint reader for security.
Since it’s a computer geared towards entertainment, the video card should also be mentioned. The HDX Dragon ships with a 512MB ATi Mobility Radeon HD2600 XT. That means that you get DirectX 10 support out of the box. Continuing on the whole entertainment meme, it also has a built-in HD DVD-ROM drive, allowing you to play back your HD DVD movies at 1080p.
Finally we have the connections, which are too many for us to go through - so we will let HP tell the story here:
The HDX comes with 4 USB 2.0 ports, an Express Card/54 slot (which also supports Express Card/34), an HDMI port, an S-Video, a VGA, an RJ-11, an RK-45, an IEEE 1394 FireWire, and a Consumer IR. A 5-in-1 digital media Card reader supports Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MultiMediaCard, and xD-Picture Cards. You get an eSATA port for high-speed data transfer to external storage devices up to six times faster than existing solutions, which is perfect for high-def video content recording. There’s an integrated 802.11a/g/b/pre-N plus Bluetooth for highest-speed wireless connections. And the adjustable webcam with integrated microphones lets you capture still photos and short videos and for live video chat.
So yeah - they packed a lot into this machine. Now hit the video to actually see how it all came together.
Let us know what you think, or what you want us to unbox next!
Read More | HP Pavilion HDX Dragon Product Page
Alright gang, this is our final video from the HP Your Life is the Show event that HP put on recently. In this episode, we chat with Jonathan Kaye about the collaboration between HP and MTV on their “Take Action…Make Art” competition. In essence, the contest is open to anyone who’d like to their their art transformed into the newest HP notebook design. Over at the official TAMA site, you can see all current entries, download design templates, upload your own creations, etc. It’s all fairly slick, plus the winner gets their design made and printed on 50,000 notebook computers. Plus they get one of their own. Not too shabby, right? Head on over to the site now to participate before things closes on October 17. Let us know what you think and definitely if you enter, and stay tuned for one more video more from the Your Life is the Show event.
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