Windows 7, Android, and New Laptop Chips from Intel, AMD, and nVidia
Computex, Asia's premier tech trade show, is regarded as the second largest such show in the world, behind CeBIT Germany. This year was supposed to be a tad subdued, owing to the global economic slump and fears surrounding the H1N1 virus (or swine flu). Nevertheless, 100,000 attendees are browsing 4600 booths in the mammoth Taipei World Trade Center and Nangang Exhibition Hall (pictured).
Developments surrounding Windows 7, laptop processors, and Google Android dominated news on the first day of the conference, which runs from June 2 to June 6. Read on for the latest.
Next: Windows 7: Close Enough to Touch
Windows 7: Close Enough to Touch
On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that it will ship Windows 7 to customers worldwide on October 22. At the same time it will offer current Windows users an upgrade service called the Windows Upgrade Option. More details about that program will be revealed at Computex during Wednesday's keynote speech by Microsoft corporate vice president Steve Guggenheimer. A slew of touchscreen computers running beta versions of Windows 7 are on display at the show, including MSI's AE2201 all-in-one PC (pictured).Visit our news blog for more details as they emerge. --Elizabeth Montalbano
Next: ECS T800: A VAIO P Series Terminator?
ECS T800: A VAIO P Series Terminator?
Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) showed off its first netbook loaded with Google's Android operating system. The T800 has an 8.9-inch-diagonal screen, a Texas Instruments OMAP 3 CPU (with ARM processing cores), a small keypad, and a weight of less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) despite its metallic casing.
ECS, a contract manufacturer, will likely market the T800 to mobile phone network operators and big PC vendors. An ECS representative said that the device will likely be available in the fourth quarter of 2009 for less than $500 (U.S. dollars). Read more details here. --Dan Nystedt
Next: nVdia Ion and Tegra Graphics Showcased
nVidia Ion and Tegra Graphics Showcased
nVidia has launched a full-scale assault on Intel's generally lackluster integrated graphics offerings. Around 20 nVidia Ion-based netbooks, all-in-one PCs, nettops (stripped-down desktop systems), and motherboards are on display at Computex. In addition, nVidia is showing a handful of partner-built "Mobile Internet Devices" that use its Tegra "computer-on-a-chip" platform. With carrier subsidies, Tegra-based laptops may start as low as $99 when launched later this year. They face competition from similar "smartbooks" incorporating rival Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform, which is likewise ARM-based. You'll find full details and images here. --Danny Allen
Next: Qualcomm Shows Android Eee PC, but Asus Puts Project on Ice
Qualcomm Shows Android Eee PC, but Asus Puts Project on Ice
On Monday, Qualcomm showed an Eee PC running Android, Google's new mobile operating system, as part of the company's display of new products containing its Snapdragon chips. The "smartbook" (Qualcomm's terminology) had a 10-inch-diagonal display, but was thinner and lighter than current Atom/Windows XP-based Eee PCs because Snapdragon chips don't require any fans for cooling. Sounds great, right? A day later, however, top executives from Asus put the project on the backburner.The Eee PC with Android is not ready yet because the technology is "not mature," according to Jonathan Tsang, vice chairman of Asustek, speaking on the sidelines of a press conference at the show on Tuesday. Read the full story here. --Sumner Lemon
Acer May Be First With Android Netbook
Acer May Be First With Android Netbook
In the third quarter of this year, Acer plans to launch a version of its Aspire One netbook loaded with Google's Android mobile OS. The device carries the same Intel Atom microprocessor as any other Aspire One, and it sports a 10-inch screen. A similar Aspire One loaded with Microsoft Windows XP is already available from Acer. You can find full details here. --Dan Nystedt
Next: Ultra-Low-Voltage Laptops Draw Interest
Ultra-Low-Voltage Laptops Draw Interest
On the same day that it announced the Pentium SU2700--a new addition to its chip line--Intel displayed laptops powered by the CULV (consumer ultra-low-voltage) chips; the laptops came from half a dozen PC makers. Intel designed these microprocessors for a new class of ultrathin laptops that are as light as a netbook but pack bigger screens and more computing power. Examples include Gigabyte's new CULV and Windows 7-powered Booktop M1305 (pictured). Such machines could fill the gap that currently exists between standard laptops, which usually cost over $1000 (U.S. dollars), and netbooks that sell for as little as $250 but don't run complex applications well. Read the complete story here. --Owen Fletcher
Next: AMD Challenges Intel With Dual-Core Neo Chip
AMD Challenges Intel With Dual-Core Neo Chip
AMD has started shipping its dual-core Athlon Neo processors--its answer to Intel's CULV (consumer ultra-low-voltage) processors. The updated Neo chip also works as part of AMD's upcoming Congo platform for ultrathin laptops, which will include integrated graphics based on the Radeon 3200 graphics core. HP already ships its Pavilion dv2 laptop with a single-core Neo and will refresh that laptop with the new chip in place. The laptop will become available on Monday, June 8; other Neo-based laptops will reach the market in September. Find full details here. --Agam Shah
Next: Bye-bye Kindle: E-Reader Screens Coming for Netbooks
Bye-bye Kindle: E-Reader Screens Coming for Netbooks
Netbook makers will soon play a larger role in the e-reader market if start-up Pixel Qi has anything to say about it. The company, founded by former One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) CTO Mary Lou Jepsen, has presented engineering samples of its first screen product at Computex.Pixel Qi's first product, called 3qi, is a 10.1-inch-diagonal netbook screen designed to work in three modes: a black-and-white e-ink mode for reading text documents and e-books, a color mode for indoor use, and a color mode for bright sunlight; the two color modes are more suitable for Web surfing and video playback than for extended reading.The screens should begin appearing in netbooks on store shelves by the end of this year. Read more about these developments here. --Dan Nystedt and Martyn Williams
Next: First Garmin-Asus Android Smartphone Due Next Year
First Garmin-Asus Android Smartphone Due Next Year
The Garmin-Asus joint venture plans to launch its first smartphone based on Google's Android mobile operating system no later than the first quarter of next year, according to executives at Computex. The two companies hope that their location services will make an Android smartphone even more compelling. Though the effort will pit Garmin GPS capabilities against Google Maps, people can use the two technologies in different ways, according to an Asustek representative. Garmin GPS technology will support the geotagging feature for photographs taken with the handset and will provide other location-based services, the Asus rep says. Read the full story here. --Dan Nystedt
Visit PC World's Trade Show News Center for more news from Computex 2009 and from E3 2009.