After making all kinds of efforts to save money and cut back on expenses, a recent settlement for Dell is sure to set those efforts back just a little bit. The computer giant is going to have to pay $3.35 million as part of a settlement in 34 states for misleading consumers about financing and warranties. Apparently, many people who purchased Dell computers were charged higher interest rates than promised (for those who financed), did not receive rebates and were lied to about warranties. So, $1.5 million will be paid as restitution for those rip-offs and consumers will have 90 days to submit a claim. The remaining $1.85 million is going to cover, you guessed it, legal fees. The moral of the story is it doesn’t pay to be shady and we hope that other companies take this as a wake-up call because it doesn’t help business or consumers. It does however, help lawyers.
Market research firm iSuppli has just released data that points to a pretty major coup for portable computing. The firm is now reporting that laptop sales in Q3 2008 rose an astonishing 40 percent year-to-year, to 38.6 million units. Desktop sales on the other hand, fell to 38.5 million according to the firm’s numbers – a 1.3 percent drop off from Q3 2007. Analysts had predicted for quite some time that the changeover would take place in 2011 but it makes plenty of sense that 2008 was the year. Netbooks continue to have a huge impact on the consumer market, essentially offering users a notebook PC for the price of a desktop PC. As far as the enterprise market is concerned, notebook sales continue to grow because, well, businesses never want their employees to stop working. In terms of the split, HP is still leading the pack with 18.8 percent of the notebook market, followed by Dell (13.9 percent) and Acer (12.2 percent). Lenovo and Toshiba close out the top five with 7.5 and 4.6 percent respectively. Interestingly, Apple lost some of its notebook market share according to iSuppli’s data, slipping to 3.2 percent. iSuppli’s Peter Lin is quoted as saying, “When its competitors grow faster, it will lose market share. So I think the main reason [for the lost ground] is Apple has not provided a netbook yet.” While Apple’s refreshed MacBook line will have undoubtedly helped the company regain ground in Q4 2008, it looks like Cupertino might want to take another look at netbooks if it wants to become a major player in the laptop game.
The Adamo made another round of appearances throughout the blogosphere over the past 20 hours or so, sparked by a new article run by the New York Times’ Bits blog. As it turns out, the Times’ confirmation that the Adamo would end up being a MacBook Air competitor was built on the false premise that Dell had confirmed a blurb originally posted about the Adamo on UptownLife.net. A quote from the UptownLife post that has since been pulled from the site:
Rumor has it that Dell is coming out with a computer called Adamo that will rival the MacBook Air. At press time, the company was keeping the product tightly under wraps, but PC users rejoice – word on the street is that something cool is coming your way.
The post was accompanied by a supposed Dell advertisement that has been pulled from the site as well. As excited as we all got that Dell had confirmed its MacBook Air rival, the Bits post was updated just over an hour later with the news that Dell had actually only confirmed the image seen in the ad and not the accompanying text. Despite Dell’s hesitance to shed any light on its Adamo for the time being, it’s becoming pretty safe to assume that initial reports of an ultra-thin Dell laptop are accurate. Dell had recently leaked details on accessories for an “Adamo Thirteen” – a 13-inch screen sounds about right – and there are just too many reports coming from various reliable sources to ignore. Don’t worry PC fans; CES is almost here and we can all expect Dell to show up, Adamo in hand.
This time of year there is certainly an abundance for tech and gadget rumors, so we have another for you to lust after: Adamo by Dell. The NY Times dug up some of Dell’s trademarks and they included “Adamo” and “Adamo by Dell.” Sounds pretty posh, doesn’t it? We’re not sure if it is going to be just one computer or a whole line of desktops and notebooks. Rumor has it that one of the upcoming models might be even thinner than the MacBook Air (which could be good or bad depending on your preference), but this is all we have to base it from:
But most telling of all might have been the reaction of Michael Tatelman, Dell’s vice president in charge of consumer sales and marketing, to my question about whether or not Dell had an Air-like product in store. Mr. Tatelman’s mouth gaped open and his eyes darted away from my face.
We’re not going to put too much stock in that, but it’s definitely a possibility and we’re not saying it should be ruled out entirely. Dell is looking to break from its current image and unleash something new to give the brand a little shake-up. Analysts have this to say about a possible MacBook Air competitor from Dell:
“One of the things they could do real differently from Apple would be cheap,” said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies, an analyst firm. “They could shave $400 off the MacBook Air price pretty easily.”
Analysts – what would the world be without them? Either way, Dell is taking on a pretty momentous task and we’re hoping it brings the goods. Someone needs to step up in the PC world, right? When’s the last time there was so much hype around a Dell, Sony or HP computer? Are you listening, guys?
Beginning in early 2009, HP will become the first notebook manufacturer to make use of Boston-Power’s new battery technology. The Sonata battery, developed by the Massachusetts firm, represents a major leap in lithium-ion battery technology with regards to two major claims: Firstly, Boston-Power states that its batteries will deliver like-new performance for an astounding three years. In other words, you won’t see six hours of battery life on your new laptop dwindle to four hours after just a few months. Secondly, the Sonata batteries charge incredibly quickly compared to current notebook batteries. The company claims that an empty Sonata battery will reach 80% of its charge capacity in just 30 minutes. If its batteries can manage to live up to the hype, Boston-Power will literally change the industry along with consumers’ expectations of it. HP has stated that it will offer Sonata batteries in several new models, each of which will be accompanied by a three-year warranty on the battery, and it will also offer Sonata replacement batteries for several existing notebook models. For the time being, pricing is still unknown but we have to say – we’d gladly pay some extra cash for a battery we knew would stay fresh for three years and charge in less than half the time it takes for most current batteries to charge. Gladly.
Early adopters, prepare to be annoyed. Those of you who have been putting off picking up the sexy new aluminum MacBook, prepare to be pleasantly surprised – as long as you live near a participating Fry’s. While plenty of speculation is being tossed around with regards to Apple being aggressive with its pricing this coming Black Friday, Fry’s is apparently sick of the hubbub. Rather than wait to find out what Apple has in store for the upcoming shopping holiday, if anything, future MacBook owners can make their way down to Fry’s where the base aluminum MacBook will be on sale for $1099. $200 off the normal retail price isn’t too shabby at all. Unfortunately not all the discounted MacBooks will be new models as the ad stipulates demos and open boxes will be thrown into the mix. As long as you don’t mind knowing your new lappy has likely been manhandled by hoards of Fry’s customers before you, you’re good. It looks like the sale will only be on tomorrow, and only at brick and mortar stores. Who’s in?
AT&T announced today that a new partnership with Ericsson and Lenovo will allow 3G-embedded ThinkPads to be priced much more reasonably. Lenovo already offers a complete line of 3G-enabled ThinkPad latops and with this new agreement in place, retail prices are expected to drop by up to $150 per unit. What’s more, customers who purchase a relevant notebook directly from the ThinkPad website will receive 30 days of free DataConnect service – plenty of time to try things on before you pick a plan. This, in all likelihood, will be the start of a series of agreements between AT&T and various manufacturers to begin pushing 3G-embedded laptops and netbooks a bit harder by making them more accessible. Sure, we have a long way to go before we catch up with Europe but this is the mobile industry so of course that’s expected. Blurb time, courtesy of Michael Woodward, VP of Mobility Business Marketing for AT&T’s wireless operations:
We have seen mobile data consumption quadruple every year for the past three years. Customers recognize the benefits of enhanced connectivity on their notebook computers, and this increase in consumption reflects that. The program we’ve developed with Lenovo and Ericsson is a simple, affordable response to this trend that we expect will be welcomed by business customers and mobile professionals.
[Via VoIP Watch]
Hmm, that’s a pretty sweet looking pen in that pic. Is it a Mont or a… Oh sorry, we got sidetracked. You know how it is – all these netbooks coming out and well, it’s getting a tiny bit hard to care. Tiny ones are cool as long as they pack integrated cellular radios, thin ones are instantly compared with the MacBook Air with Mac-lovers scoffing and PC-lovers insisting. Anyway, Dell just announced the second addition to it’s Mini lineup, the Inspiron Mini 12. It’s not quite as mini as the Mini 9 but it’s still pretty mini, with a profile that tapers from 24 mm to 21 mm. Yup, that instantly plops it into the category of laptops and netbooks that are compared to the MacBook Air. We’re going to go ahead and skip that part if it’s ok with you – on to the spec highlights:
- 1.3GHz Atom Z520 or 1.6GHz Atom Z530
- Windows Vista Home (XP and Ubuntu options toward the end of the year)
- 12.1-inch 1280 x 800 display
- 1GB of RAM
- Hard drive: 60 GB or 80 GB
- Integrated Bluetooth / WiFi
- Standard 3-cell (3 hour life) and optional 6-cell (6 hour life) battery
- 2.7 lbs (with 3-cell battery)
All in all, it’s a pretty solid offering from Dell and the exposure-factor alone should help the Mini 12 find its way into plenty of homes throughout the country this holiday season. In terms of timing, the Mini 12 will drop in Japan first before eventually finding its way to the US late in November. Pricing will start at $600.
Following the introduction of the juicy new MacBook Pro, Mr. Jobs went on to cover the MacBook Air and MacBook. Firstly, the MacBook Air will be getting the exact treatment we told you about earlier today – with the addition of a mini display port. The 9400M will be in there and two versions will be available; a 120 GB HDD for $1799 and a 128 GB SSD for $2499. More importantly, Stevo dropped the new MacBook on us as expected. Just like the MacBook Pro, the new MacBook will feature the juiced up NVIDIA GPU, the glass trackpad, the backlit keyboard on the 2.4GHz model and about 5 hours of battery life.
- $999 – Old white plastic model, whatever
- $1299 – 13.3-inch display, 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, 160GB HDD, Superdrive
- $1599 – 13.3-inch display, 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, 250GB HDD, Superdrive
The new MacBooks are shipping out today and should be in stores tomorrow. Recession be damned, get your credit cards ready people.
After a nice little intro consisting of some Mac vs. PC ads and deep thoughts along the lines of Apple makes superior products and Vista was a big let down, Apple revealed its new manufacturing process and let loose the newest additions to its MacBook lines. Apple first discussed the process of building the current MacBook Pros, highlighting how difficult it is to design something that is thin and duarable when it is made out of so many parts. Yep, you know exactly where we’re going here. The MacBook Air was the beginning of Apple’s realization that rather than adding components to make the laptop case, it should start with a single piece of aluminum and remove pieces. The result is a lighter, sturdier smoother build. Apple starts with a 2.5-pound piece of aluminum (Brick) and ends up with a piece that weighs 0.25-pounds.
We’re now just about an hour away from Apple’s notebook event where the Captain of Cupertino will set the record straight on all of the rumors that have emerged in the weeks and days leading up to today. In the meantime, it looks like all of the false link bait has been pushed aside and most of Apple’s announcements have likely been covered by a variety of reliable sources. We have firm price points as well as a slew of pretty sturdy specs / details. Last but not least, a new round of MacBook Pro case shots for your viewing pleasure after the jump. Enjoy.
Have you ever been caught checking your Facebook at work and had your boss giving you the evil eye? Or perhaps you were working on your soon-to-be-huge screenplay at Starbucks and the girls sitting next to you were giggling at your space alien love story? Well, LG has come to your rescue. The electronics giant has developed a new 14.1″ screen that allows the visibility to be adjusted by angle. While it’s capable of a 175-degree viewing range, it can be adjusted to just 60-degrees to help avoid those wandering eyes. Typical LCD screens have subpixels for the three primary colors while the LG screen has extra subpixels to control this effect without affecting coloring on your screen. Pretty cool, eh? Now your IM fights with your girlfriend or pr0n pop-ups from those questionable sites you visit won’t be so embarrassing anymore.
Last night we rocked the new price points our Apple ninja scored for you. Now that the Apple notebook event is almost upon us, the internet is ablaze with rumors and predictions of all shapes and sizes as you can imagine. Here’s a roundup:
- The image above is the latest and likely last alleged leaked MacBook Pro shot we’ll see pre-event (along with the matching one after the jump). It is also the most interesting. Notice, there’s no button beneath the trackpad! This brings us full circle back to the old glass display trackpad rumors, and perhaps the entire pad is a button a la BlackBerry Storm. The display theory is doubtful but we can still dream.
- There will be no new 17-inch Pros announced today – only 15-inch models but the current 17-inch Pros will remain in Apple’s lineup.
- The new MacBook Pros may be rocking dual-NVIDIA GPUs, which would be intense to say the least.
- The $899 price point we told you about may not in fact be a laptop. Instead, it’s now thought that Apple may be introducing a new 24-inch LED Apple Cinema display.
- All of the new laptops introduced today will indeed utilize the single-piece aluminum chasis “brick” construction we’ve been hearing so much about.
- The existing MacBooks, MacBook Pros and MacBooks Airs will remain in Apple’s lineup and see price drops and NVIDIA 9400M GPUs. Most notably perhaps, is the current plastic MacBook entry point will drop to $999. Albeit barely, this will in fact take Apple below the $1000 price point.
- The new MacBook Airs will be available with a 120 GB HDD or a 128 GB SSD.
To summarize things: Existing lastops will remain but they’ll be cheaper and beefier in one way or another. New aluminum MacBooks are coming. A new 15-inch dual NVIDIA GPU-rocking MacBook Pro is coming and it’s going to be a beast. We may see a new Apple Cinema display. Hit the jump for a second alleged shot of the new MacBook Pro.