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Computer News and Rumors

June 8-16 2002

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jun 16 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jun 14 Infineon Announces the Shipment of 7 Million Bluetooth ICs
Jun 14 e.Digital Ships Treo 15 Digital Music Jukebox
Jun 14 CSR Gives First Demonstration of IPv6 Over Bluetooth
Jun 14 CSR Enables EPoX Bluetooth Solutions for PC's
Jun 13 Philips to Dominate Consumer Electronics in Europe
Jun 13 Viewsonic Breaks Plasma TV Price Barrier
Jun 13 Epson Introduces Home Theater Projector
Jun 13 CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 Coming Soon
Jun 13 SmartDisk USB Universal Reader Reads Six Flash Media Cards
Jun 12 Toshiba's New Satellite Notebooks are Big On Features
Jun 12 Fragmentation of US Digital Radio Market to Continue
Jun 12 NETGEAR Introduces Integrated DSL Modem Internet Gateway
Jun 12 USB 2.0 Takes Center Stage at Dev Con
Jun 12 Biometrics Seen As Solution to Identity Theft
Jun 11 Fujitsu Announces Newest Ultra-Compact LifeBook P Series Notebook
Jun 11 New Products, Services and Memory Choices Spur Digital Audio Growth
Jun 11 BiTMICRO Networks Introduces ATA/UDMA-66 Flash Disk
Jun 11 Wireless Continues to Displace Traditional Telephone Service
Jun 10 AMD Introduces Athlon XP Processor 2200+
Jun 10 NEC Unveils Newest Outdoor Ultraportable Notebook
Jun 10 PDA Cost of Ownership Projected at $3,000 Per User
Jun 10 Alienware Announces Gaming Machine with 1066MHz RDRAM
Jun 09 Sunday Shopping Watch

 

 
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June 16 - Sunday Shopping Watch. Happy Father's Day.

Best Sunday Deals - Best Buy is offering a HP Celeron 1.2 GHz complete system for $599. They are also offering a 2.0 GHz Sony Pentium 4 desktop complete system for $1299.
Office Depot is advertising a Compaq 1900+ with 17" flat panel monitor for $1000.

Weekly Comparison.

Notebooks - Prices went up this week on notebooks. The low price Duron 1.1 GHz went up $150 over last week's price.
Desktops - This week's 1.2 GHz Celeron system for $599 is not as good of a deal as a previous week's 1.3 GHz Celeron system for the same price.
Prices are a little lower on Pentium 4 desktops compared to last week. Prices on Athlon "+" processor desktops are also lower.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton,Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

BestBuy is now offering a $200 shopping certificate with a 2 year MSN sign-up, in addition to 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase.
Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, build-to-order packages, and all notebooks. They are also offering a Best Buy $50 gift card with all 1.7 GHz or faster desktop computers.
Circuit City is giving 12 months of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase. They are also having a clearance sale on select systems without monitors.
Office Depot is offering no interest, no payment, financing for 6 months on purchases over $298.
CompUSA no ad today.
Staples has an online coupon for $15 off in-store or online purchases of $75 or more. Coupon can be found here.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday Ad prices to those being offered at 160 online computer stores.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron/Duron desktops made by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before purchase.
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 7 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more information on Windows XP see our Windows XP Upgrade Guide.

Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before you buy. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

Definitions. A desktop system/package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a vendor's store. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.2 GHz complete system
$599
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
None Advertised
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.0 GHz Complete System
$1299
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1900+ with 17" flat panel monitor
$1000
Office Depot
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2000+ with 17" monitor
$1143
Office Depot
Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.1 GHz Duron with DVD
$1149
Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Sony Athlon 4 1500+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1499
Circuit City
Worst Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 8500 with 128 DDR
$279 (can buy online for $150)
Circuit City

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you make informed buying decisions.

June 14 - Infineon Announces the Shipment of 7 Million Bluetooth ICs. Infineon Technologies AG (FSE:IFX) (NYSE:IFX), a leading IC vendor in Local Area Wireless, today announced that it has shipped over seven million Bluetooth units as of June 2002.

In addition to that, Infineon unveiled its new and powerful Bluetooth(TM) Single-Chip, the BlueMoon(TM) Universal, a single chip solution, manufactured in a 0.13 micron CMOS-Technology. Due to the minimized die size, both power consumption and the total size of a module are significantly reduced. Infineon is demonstrating the BlueMoon Universal in a standard leadless package smaller than 36mm(2) at the Bluetooth Congress in Amsterdam 2002, June 12-14.

BlueMoon Universal will have integrated USB, PCM (SSI), UART, CODEC interfaces as well as an ARM7 processor for Linkmanager and upper layer stacks. An API (application programmable interface) will ensure the possibility to generate embedded hostless solutions. The new chip will be available in two different memory variants, with ROM or embedded Flash. This IC solution is a highlight of the BlueMoon product family, offering access to the latest technology innovations, such as 0.13 micron CMOS RF and Flash providing small and low cost solutions for Bluetooth applications.

"With shipments of over seven million Bluetooth ICs, we extend our market share in this strongly increasing market," said Hubert Christl, Vice President and General Manager Local Area Wireless at Infineon Technologies. "Furthermore, Infineon strongly commits to its innovative Bluetooth roadmap in terms of feature enhancement and integration by presenting the new BlueMoon Universal."

Further information is available at www.infineon.com.

June 14 - e.Digital Ships Treo 15 Digital Music Jukebox. e.Digital Corp. (OTCBB: EDIG) announced today that it has begun shipments of its new Treo(TM) 15, a lightweight, pocket-sized digital music jukebox with the capacity to store over 300 CDs worth of digital music.

At a suggested retail price of $299, Treo 15 has a built-in 2.5 inch 15 GB hard disk drive and is scheduled to be available this weekend at Good Guys stores on the West Coast. Good Guys (Nasdaq: GGUY) is the largest specialty retailer of higher-end entertainment electronics in the nation and operates 72 stores in California, Nevada, Washington and Oregon.

Treo 15, one of the smallest digital jukeboxes available, offers superior sound quality and more than 225 hours of music storage. Treo 15 effectively combines excellent audio quality with an easy to use interface, while providing access to large collections of music in a small, lightweight device.

Based on e.Digital's patented MicroOS 2.0(TM) operating system, Treo 15 features Smart Song Selection(TM), allowing users to quickly and easily manage and navigate music files even as they are listening to their favorite selections. At 8.2 ounces including the carrying case, Treo 15 is lightweight and has a large, easy-to-read backlit LCD display.

e.Digital's MXP(TM) Music Explorer software, shipped with Treo 15, helps first-time users transfer and organize digital music and data files easily. MusicMatch Jukebox software is also included with the unit, making it easy for users to rip music files from their personal CD collection to their PC's hard drive and then quickly and easily download them to the device. The Music Explorer and MusicMatch software package included with every player enables consumers to create MP3 and Windows Media(TM) music files. The unit is also field upgradeable to support other popular formats and digital rights management systems as they become available.

All Treo 15 packages include portable stereo earphones, an AC adaptor/charger, a mini USB interface cable, a carrying case, a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that provides up to 12 hours of playback time per charge, and easy-to-use PC software. Treo 15s are expected to be sold through additional retailers nationwide in the coming weeks.

For more information, visit www.edig.com.

June 14 - CSR Gives First Demonstration of IPv6 Over Bluetooth. CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) today helped to demonstrate IPv6 running over Bluetooth during the Bluetooth Congress presentation by Jawad Khaki, corporate vice president of Windows Networking and Communications at Microsoft.

The demonstration, using a CSR Bluetooth chip with on-chip IPv6 stack, between a DVD player and a Microsoft Windows XP notebook PC, integrated a web server running directly on CSR's BlueCore2 Bluetooth chip into a consumer DVD player.
This first demonstration of IPv6 running over Bluetooth wireless technology shows how standard Internet solutions can be used with Bluetooth. A standard web browser accesses the web server resident on the Bluetooth chip in the DVD player to provide the user interface in the browser on the PC. While this demonstration shows the PC in close proximity to the DVD player, it could reside anywhere on the Internet enabling remote control of IPv6 devices.

"Connecting and controlling a wide range of devices through the Internet is a prime goal of IPv6. This goal is now achieved for any Bluetooth enabled device via BlueCore2," said Eric Janson, vice president CSR North America. "CSR is delighted to be working with Microsoft to make this vision a reality."

In his presentation, Ubiquitous Wireless Networks, Khaki said, "CSR is one of the early players to integrate full IPv6 connectivity into a single Bluetooth device. Microsoft's work with CSR has been important to the early implementation of universal connectivity based on IPv6 in combination with Bluetooth in Windows XP."

In December 2001, CSR announced it would be working with Microsoft Corp. to support Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) over Bluetooth(TM) by providing an IPv6 stack to run on its BlueCore2 single-chip solution. This allows Bluetooth devices to be easily enabled with Internet connections without including their own IP stack.

CSR supports the concept of a web-based browser acting as a universal interface to a range of consumer and industrial products. For example, a heating controller using Bluetooth can be controlled from a remote PC running Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Corp has indicated that it will provide Bluetooth profile support for Windows XP in 2002, that it will include the use of Universal Plug and Play technology for device discovery and use IPv6 over Bluetooth for the Personal Area Networking profile.

More information about CSR can be found on the web site at www.csr.com.

June 14 - CSR Enables EPoX Bluetooth Solutions for PC's. CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) has announced that EPoX, a leading Taiwanese motherboard and component manufacturer, has selected CSR to power its Bluetooth(TM) module for the company's motherboard and USB dongle.
Designed around CSR's BlueCore(TM)2 single-chip Bluetooth solution, both products are shipping now.
The EPoX Class 2 Bluetooth dongle, BT-DG-02, is compatible with Windows XP, 2000, 98 and ME to enable users to easily and inexpensively Bluetooth-enable practically any PC with a USB port.
The EPoX Bluetooth module BT-MD01 is being shipped with the company's motherboard, model 4BEAV. The low cost and small footprint of CSR's BlueCore chip presents the ideal solution for bringing Bluetooth onto the motherboard.
Steve Hsiao, president of EPoX commented, "Bluetooth is no longer just a trend or luxury, it is becoming an essential communication tool for the PC market. Our collaboration with CSR, with its established and recognized Bluetooth expertise, has enabled us to swiftly integrate and standardize Bluetooth into our range of products."
"BlueCore continues to provide our customers with a commercial edge in this rapidly growing global market," said Eric Janson, vice president CSR North America. "Designing products based on CSR's proven technology enables our customers to rapidly roll out new products with ease."

More information about CSR can be found on the web site at www.csr.com. More information about EPoX can be found on the web site at www.epox.com.

June 13 - Philips to Dominate Consumer Electronics in Europe. Royal Philips Electronics (AEX: PHI, NYSE: PHG) today introduced its new marketing strategy for the Consumer Electronics market.
With 'consumer focus' the most important element, the new strategy is aimed at realizing Philips' ambition to become the clear number one player in all its European CE markets within the next three years. This was stated today by Rudy Provoost, Executive Vice President Philips Consumer Electronics, Region Europe, at an international Press Conference in Malaga, Spain.

Already the preferred consumer electronics supplier to the retail trade in Europe, Philips also aims to become the consumers' brand of choice in all its targeted business categories. In Europe, Philips is already a leader in television, flat TV, VCRs, CD recorders, headphones and remote control systems.
In personal CD, DVD and cordless DECT phones the company holds the number two position. Philips is also among the leaders in PC monitors. "Building on our world-leading technological competences in Display, Storage and Connectivity we will deliver a total brand experience in three targeted domains: personal expression, home entertainment and business productivity," said Rudy Provoost.

Home entertainment and personal expression are totally consumer focused, while business productivity targets a broad range of professional, semi-professional and SOHO applications, addressing retail as well as 'corporate business'. All three domains draw upon the full cross-section of Philips' technological and product competences.

Philips has long recognized that consumers are not focused on new technologies, products and functions in themselves, but much more in the way they can bring new or enhanced experiences into their daily lives. "Now, through our consumer experiences strategy, we are further intensifying our efforts to translate our world-leading technologies into solutions that offer consumers the answers to their desires, lifestyles and aspirations," said Provoost.

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of EUR 32.3 billion in 2001. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products.
Its 186,000 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors and medical systems. Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. Philips can be found online at www.philips.com.

June 13 - Viewsonic Breaks Plasma TV Price Barrier. ViewSonic Corporation, a worldwide Visual Technologies™ leader, today added to its growing line of advanced products with two next-generation plasma displays - a 50-inch and a 42-inch - that provide optimum viewing experiences by combining high-resolution images with features such as a built-in TV tuner and sound system at more affordable prices.

At an estimated street price (ESP) of $4,995, the VPW425 is the first display to break the $5,000 price barrier in the plasma TV display product category, and is an average of 20 percent less than comparable competitive offerings. With a native resolution of 852 x 480 and a contrast ratio of up to 550:1, the 42-inch display produces bright, crisp images, making it ideal for data and video presentation applications, as well as high-performance entertainment in the home. These same features are available in the 50-inch VPW505 with a higher native resolution, 1366 x 768, at an ESP of $9,995.

Both the VPW425 and VPW505 extend traditional plasma viewing options with a built-in TV tuner that provides reception of analog cable or terrestrial broadcast TV, and uses progressive scan to produce the highest quality image. In addition, the displays provide virtual surround sound with two integrated 5-watt speakers along with full-screen, split-screen and picture-in-picture (PIP) viewing capabilities for watching video or TV content while working simultaneously on PC applications. Multiview or POP is provided, allowing users to create up to two picture windows on the screen for viewing multiple data, video or TV signals.

"This next generation of plasma displays combines the feature set and price point necessary to bridge the gap between business and home theater applications," said Jennifer Litten, product manager, ViewSonic's Presentation Products Division. "Offering a built-in tuner, along with the ability to view multiple applications, makes the VPW425 and the VPW505 the ultimate value in large-format display solutions."

The slim bezel plasma displays also readily support all HDTV formats (480i, 480p, 720i, 720p and 1080i), are compatible with PC and Mac® computer systems, and provide S-Video, component, and composite video connections. In addition, they come equipped with a stand, wireless remote control and carrying case. Options for wall mounting are available.

Both products are on display at InfoComm in Las Vegas from June 12 through June 14. For further information, visit ViewSonic at www.ViewSonic.com.

June 13 - Epson Introduces Home Theater Projector. Epson America Inc., the world leader in high-performance projectors, today unveiled its first-ever home theater product with the introduction of the EPSON PowerLite TW-100 video projector.

"Since the introduction of our first multimedia projector in 1995, Epson video display technology has won numerous awards and established a reputation and for outstanding image quality, ease-of-use and reliability," said Mark Pickard, group product manager, Epson. "Now that we've gained such a prominent position in the projector market and have become the brand of choice among so many demanding presenters and AV specialists, it's become a logical step for our display technology to expand into the home theater environment."

The PowerLite TW-100 projects high-resolution video at HDTV 720p native resolution and in a 16:9 wide format aspect ratio required for movies. Epson's 3-LCD technology also gives it the ability to reproduce a broader color palette than other technologies on the market, while its 600:1 contrast ratio makes it possible for shadows to stand out more from their backgrounds -- ensuring a sharp, rich image at every level of brightness.

The projector is HDTV-ready and supports other popular digital video signals such as 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i. The aspect ratio is also adjustable -- since many of today's DVDs offer a variety of aspect ratios to choose from, users have the ability to fill an entire 16:9 wide format screen without having to look at large black borders.

At 30 db, the PowerLite TW-100 is Epson's most quiet projector to date, creating a "living room-quiet" level of fan noise that won't interfere with the users' audio content. It is also designed to be visually unobtrusive with a white exterior that accents most contemporary environments.

When it comes to installation, the PowerLite TW-100 offers plenty of flexibility. The projector can be hung from a ceiling, placed on a table, installed on a bookcase or shelf for downward projection or even placed behind a screen for rear projection. It also has a fixed optical 10-degree projection angle in addition to a 30-degree digital keystone adjustment that gives users the ability to easily adjust the shape of the screen to compensate for the angle in which the projector is positioned.

The PowerLite TW-100 will be available in July 2002 for $4,995 (estimated street price) through authorized pro audio/visual dealers throughout the U.S. For more information on Epson's current projector product line, visit the company's Web site at www.epson.com.

June 13 - CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 Coming Soon. Corel Corporation (NASDAQ:CORL) (TSX:COR.TO) today announced the upcoming availability of CorelDRAW(R) Graphics Suite 11, the company's flagship graphic design suite. Designed to make work more enjoyable, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 delivers powerful software for graphic design, page layout, photo editing and vector animation. Designed for Windows(R) XP and built for Mac(R) OS X, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 will be available for purchase in late July across North America.

With virtually all new features the direct result of customer feedback, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 gives designers a suite of powerful, industry-leading tools that are also intuitive and easy to use. The suite includes CorelDRAW(R) 11, Corel PHOTO-PAINT(R) 11 and Corel R.A.V.E.(TM) 2 and is designed to make creating content for print and for the Web more enjoyable.

"We created CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 for designers who want to get more enjoyment out of what they do," said Annette McCleave, executive vice-president of marketing at Corel Corporation. "Creating content can be a complex task and CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 changes that by making graphic design as intuitive as possible, helping designers visualize their ideas and achieve a new level of satisfaction with their work."

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 continues to include user favorites such as interactive tools, extensive customization capabilities, support for more than 100 import and export filters, as well as color management tools that are both easy to use and powerful.

For more information about CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11, visit www.corel.com/graphicssuite11.

June 13 - SmartDisk Introduces Universal Flash Media Card Reader. SmartDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SMDK), a company that develops portable products for capturing, organizing, using and preserving digital content, today announced a new Universal Serial Bus 1.1 (USB)-based flash media reader that reads CompactFlash(TM), SmartMedia(TM), Memory Stick(TM), Secure Digital(TM), MultiMediaCard(TM) and IBM Microdrive(TM) media cards, all from a single unit.
This allows owners of digital still cameras, digital video camcorders, palm-held computers and other digital appliances that require different media cards to use just one reader to transfer digital files to a computer or the Internet.

The SmartDisk Universal Reader features a vertically oriented casing, allowing users to insert and remove media comfortably with just one hand. Most flash media readers sit flat on a desktop, which requires users to pick them up to insert or eject the media card.

For convenience in installing the unit on desktops or for use with laptops, the new SmartDisk Universal Reader features a detachable USB cable. It is also a "Mass Storage Class" device, which means it does not require driver software to be installed on most computers prior to use. This is particularly convenient for users who want to use the reader on more than one computer and don't want to carry driver software.

Included with the reader is ACDSee(TM) photo editing and management software from ACD Systems, which has a retail value of $49.95. Also included as a special added value is a fully featured trial version of SmartDisk's award-winning software, SmartDisk MVP(TM) for Windows operating systems. MVP allows users to easily combine a multitude of digital files, including music, video and photos to create personalized presentations that can be burned onto a CD for playback on a PC or a TV using a regular DVD player.

Pricing and Availability

The SmartDisk Universal Reader will be available in mid-June through distributors, resellers and directly through SmartDisk's Web site at www.smartdisk.com. It has an MSRP of $49.95.

June 12 - Toshiba's New Satellite Notebooks are Big On Features. Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) continues to offer powerful portability to all customers with the announcement of two new series of Satellite notebook PCs.

Offering Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processing power running up to 1.70GHz, CD recording capabilities and hassle-free optional wireless connectivity(a), the arrival of the new Satellite(R) 1400/1405 and 2400/2405 Series of notebook PCs provide a clear choice for consumers and business customers looking for a quality notebook with high-end features at entry-level prices.

"We're proud to offer the latest mobile computing solutions at prices that won't break the bank," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing, Toshiba CSG. "From as low as $1,299, budget-conscious customers no longer have to sacrifice luxury features or powerful performance to experience the increased convenience and productivity that portable computers offer."

Satellite 1400/1405 Series

With the right mix of features at a cost-effective price point, the Satellite 1400/1405 Series is the perfect solution to get entry-level notebook users up-to-speed with the mobile world. Offering built-in DVD-ROM and CD recording capabilities, plus instant access to the Internet via 10/100 Ethernet, V.90 modem and easy to upgrade wireless connectivity.

With a 30GB hard disk drive and 256MB of memory, any student, home user or business professional can work and play with greater mobility, productivity and ease.

Satellite 2400/2405 Series

The new Satellite 2400/2405 Series provides an array of customers, from students to business users, with the tools they need at a price that fits their budget. With Intel Pentium 4 1.60GHz or 1.70GHz processing power and support for DDR memory, generous 30GB hard disk drive, as well as DVD-ROM/CD-RW capabilities, these enhanced notebooks run power-intensive applications fast and seamlessly -- increasing productivity whether it's for work-related or personal computing needs.

About Toshiba America Information Systems Inc.

Toshiba Computer Systems Group, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems (TAIS), is a leading vendor for portable computers. In addition to notebooks, the company offers portable and wireless accessories, a Pocket PC device and server computing solutions for business customers under the Toshiba brand name. For more visit the company's Web site at www.csd.toshiba.com.

June 12 - Fragmentation of US Digital Radio Market to Continue. The newly-formed US digital radio market already stands divided between two separate satellite broadcasting standards.

According to the findings in a new report from Allied Business Intelligence Inc (ABI), the lines of demarcation will only grow when terrestrial digital radio makes its debut.

The AM/FM broadcasting community will soon make its move into the digital domain, with help from iBiquity's IBOC (In-Band On-Channel) technology. In 1Q03, IBOC-ready receivers are slated to reach both the US automotive OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and aftermarkets.

"XM, Sirius, and iBiquity have created their own proprietary chipset specifications, with any hopes for standardization still several years away," states Frank Viquez, senior ABI automotive analyst and author of the report. "In the interim, major chipmakers will need to cater to these various US digital audio standards in addition to global standards such as DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), and DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale). This promises to keep silicon costs high until significant mass production levels are reached." The report cites chip reusability among designs is not feasible due to different modulation schemes.

The average new car buyer will soon face a host of new and confusing choices for in-vehicle radio receivers. According to the report's findings, domestic shipments of digital radio receivers will increase from approximately 650,000 units in 2002 to over 33 million in 2007.

In light of Ford and GM's restructuring, digital radio promises to be an ideal channel to deliver extremely low-cost, telematics data services to a new audience, whom OnStar has had little to no success reaching. A downlink such as terrestrial digital radio would complement the satellite radio data pipe and provide additional flexibility to not only the TSP (telematics service provider), but to the consumer as well and at a much lower price point.
More information can be found at www.alliedworld.com.

June 12 - NETGEAR Introduces Integrated DSL Modem Internet Gateway. NETGEAR Inc., a worldwide provider of easy-to-use, high performance networking products at prices affordable to homes and growing businesses, today introduced the NETGEAR DSL Modem Internet Gateway (DG814).

This latest addition to the NETGEAR Platinum Family of easy-to-use networking products simplifies broadband Internet sharing by combining a DSL modem, router and 4-port switch in one solution, while offering NETGEAR's Smart Setup Wizard and animated Install Assistant that make it dramatically easier for anyone to set-up a network.

NETGEAR's DSL Modem Internet Gateway also provides customers the security of firewall protection to prevent Internet attacks as well as parental control features that allow the whole family to share the Internet safely. The DSL Modem Internet Gateway provides a unique platform for service providers and major retailers around the world to offer home networking services to their customers in an all-in-one solution.

"NETGEAR is leading the industry in simplifying networking," said Patrick Lo, president and CEO of NETGEAR. "By integrating a modem, router and 4-port switch, adding firewall protection and parental controls, and making set-up dramatically easier, customers will now have everything they need to share broadband Internet access securely and easily in one complete solution that attractively compliments the home."

The groundbreaking design of NETGEAR's DSL Modem Internet Gateway offers a built-in DSL modem with four ultra-fast 10/100 Mbps LAN ports for shared high-speed Web access, opening up broadband Internet access to the entire family. Through NETGEAR's Smart Setup Wizard, the DSL Modem Internet Gateway offers a complete, easy-to-use Web browser-based setup that automatically detects the ISP connection type, and depending on the ISP, can be plug and play with no configuration required.
The animated Installation Assistant and on-screen help guide users through each step of the set-up process. NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall and VPN (Virtual Private Network) pass-through protection secures computers and their networks against hackers, while Parental Control enables families to bar access to unwanted websites from certain PCs and limit the hours of Internet usage.

For more information on the company and its products, please visit NETGEAR at www.netgear.com.

June 12 - USB 2.0 Takes Center Stage at Dev Con. Milestones were achieved today at the USB 2.0 Developers Conference with first public demonstrations of video capture product and the highest performance ever seen with the latest hardware and software based on the leading personal computer peripheral interconnect.

The biggest showcase for one of the hottest computer technologies is focused on Universal Serial Bus 2.0, known in the marketplace as "Hi-Speed USB 2.0." Taking place at the Fairmont San Jose, this is the largest developer conference for the technology that computing industry and research analysts are calling the next ubiquitous way to connect devices to PCs. The three-day conference concludes Wednesday, and features news announcements, first-time demonstrations, technical sessions and a record-number 26 exhibitors showing off products now shipping with many more in the wings.

Drawing more than 300 attendees representing nearly 200 companies, the conference comes on the heels of launches of systems and motherboards with USB 2.0-integrated Intel chipsets, a milestone that industry experts believe has opened the floodgates for the technology in what the event-hosting USB Implementers Forum is calling "The Year of USB 2.0."

Among the attention-grabbing trends talked about at the show is in the area of video, according to Jason Ziller, USB-IF chairman and Intel manager of technology initiatives. In his keynote today, Ziller said that video "is the next big thing" in the advancement and adoption of USB 2.0.

"Hi-Speed USB 2.0 opens the door to video," he said. "PC applications not before possible on USB 1.1 due to bandwidth limitations are no longer out of reach. This summer, for example, consumers for the first time can perform video downloading and editing on their PCs with a USB 2.0-enabled camcorder."

USB 2.0 increases the speed of the peripheral to PC connection from 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on USB 1.1 to up to 480 Mbps on USB 2.0, or 40 times faster than with the older technology. The higher bandwidth is a major boost for such external peripherals as CD/DVD burners, scanners, hard drives and digital cameras, and opens the market for peripherals that require higher throughput. It also supports demanding PC user applications where multiple high-speed devices run simultaneously, including digital image creation and Web publishing. Another benefit is USB 2.0 is forward and backward compatible with USB 1.1.

"Universal Serial Bus has been the most successful interface in the history of PCs," said Brian O'Rourke, an In-Stat/MDR senior analyst who delivered a keynote address today. "USB 2.0 is poised to succeed the first generation USB standard. PCs will adopt the new standard quickly, with PC peripherals and consumer electronics following closely behind."

The developers conference peers into the next phase of USB 2.0's introduction, which began in April 2000 with the release of the final specification by a team made up of Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Intel Corporation, Agere Systems (formerly the microelectronics group of Lucent Technologies), Microsoft, NEC and Philips.
Following the mid-2001 introduction of PCI add-in cards and January's launch of a discrete host controller in th motherboards of high-end PCs, the next milestone was the integration of USB 2.0 in a core logic chipset with Microsoft driver support.

Intel on May 20 introduced the Intel(R) 845G, GL and E chipsets for Pentium 4(R) processor and Celeron(R) processor-based systems, with coincident system and motherboards launches from many leading vendors. Other chipset manufacturers have also announced chipsets with integrated USB 2.0, and are expected to be shipping soon.

With USB 2.0 systems now on the market from Gateway, Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Micron PC and other leading manufacturers, the next phase toward ubiquity in the PC market is the continued proliferation of USB 2.0-equipped PC peripherals.

The dozens of motherboards and systems displayed or used in demonstrations during the conference are a sample of what are available today or will be in the coming quarters.

The developers conference is an optimal venue to showcase the benefits of Hi-Speed USB 2.0 in everyday applications. Through a trio of demonstrations presented during today's opening keynote, Ziller showed off USB 2.0's attributes to increase transfer speeds and heighten video experiences, and enable portable computing devices such as handhelds and mobile phones to connect to the PC and other USB peripherals using USB On-The-Go technology.

A performance demonstration showed the increase of transfer speeds of USB 2.0 using a mass storage device, and compared the newer technology to its evolutionary predecessor. Using standard drivers and Intel's 845G chipset with integrated USB 2.0, the data transfer speeds peaked in excess of 30 megabytes per second (MBs) of data, as compared to approximately 1 MBs of data with USB 1.1. This is the fastest public demonstration of Hi-Speed USB 2.0 to date.

A video demonstration showed that with USB 2.0, new user applications will be spawned through the use of high-resolution USB 2.0 PC cameras and video capture devices. With the higher data rate, video originating in both analog and digital formats were transferred to the PC in higher frame rates and quality, allowing for more creative, fun and innovative user experiences on the PC that weren't before possible with USB 1.1 peripherals.

A third demonstration showcased the USB On-The-Go supplement to the USB 2.0 specification. With On-The-Go - the final spec was released in December - peripherals connected to each other and acted as a device or limited host. As demoed on stage for the first time publicly, USB On-The Go enables such applications as MP3 music being downloaded from a PC for immediate playback through USB speakers or headphones.

Further information about the USB 2.0 and USB-IF is available by visiting www.usb.org.

June 12 - Biometrics Seen As Solution to Identity Theft. The recent breach of a top credit reporting agency's database through Ford Motor Credit Company points to the growing number of problems with IT security, as well as the rising potential for identity theft. Easy-to-implement Biometric security solutions -- like finger-scanning computer mice --could possibly prevent such breaches in the future.

Thieves accessed personal information, including social security numbers, addresses, payment history, and creditor names, of 13,000 consumers in the database, some of whom were Ford Credit customers. The FBI is investigating the incident.

How could a breach of this magnitude occur? According to Ford Motor Credit Media Relations Coordinator Daniel Jarvis, it's possible that someone simply got hold of Ford's passwords and entered through their interface directly.

Experian, who houses the database for Ford, was quick to point out that their system was not hacked, suggesting the perpetrator accessed the system through the `front door.' "Through some portal at Ford, some unauthorized inquiries were made to certain Experian files," said Donald Girard, director of public relations for Experian.

When asked if Experian was considering using biometrics to enhance the interface solution they provide customers, Girard carefully replied, "We don't talk publicly about our technology because it gives a roadmap to thieves."

According to Rich Tehrani, President of Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC(R)) and Chairman of the upcoming BiometriTech(TM) Conference (www.biometritechexpo.com) in New York, there are several biometric solutions designed specifically to eliminate or at least minimize this type of crime.
"Password replacement solutions are growing in popularity as an effective way to secure access to valuable data. Not to mention the relief they provide overworked helpdesk personnel, who spend too much of their time aiding employees who've forgotten or misplaced their passwords. Biometric technologies from fingerprint scanning to iris recognition to keyboard authentication may all be used to replace passwords, or even to augment them for multi-factor authentication," said Tehrani.

He added, "There are solutions that can be integrated into your workstation logon process that would deny imposters access to valuable information -- regardless of whether they tried to breach the system from inside or outside of your offices."

Laura Guevin, editorial director of BiometriTech(TM) magazine, agrees it's more important to focus on finding solutions than to assign blame to Ford or Experian. "It would seem that vendors like Ford Motor Credit, the credit reporting agencies, and the government should all share in the task of protecting consumers from identity fraud. Adding extra security -- biometrics-based security, e.g. -- to the points of entry to that credit information will go a long way in assuring customers that the business they conduct is their business and no one else's," explained Guevin.

For more information about TMC(R), visit its Web site at www.tmcnet.com.

June 11 - Fujitsu Announces Newest Ultra-Compact LifeBook P Series Notebook. Fujitsu PC Corporation (FPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), today announced it has raised the bar for no-compromise mobile computing with the latest generation of the LifeBook(R) P2000 notebook.
Unchallenged as the world's smallest, full-featured notebook, the P2000 boasts several enhancements for better overall performance yet still retains its exceptional battery life, award-winning design, featherweight status and affordable price.
The P2000 now features Transmeta Corporation's (Nasdaq:TMTA) enhanced power-efficient 867MHz Crusoe TM5800 Processor with LongRun power management and comes with up to 384MB of system memory.
With the most advanced Transmeta processor to date, the P2000 can provide users with extra power when they need it and conserve energy when the power demand is low. Business professionals, commuters, students and technology enthusiasts will appreciate the notebook's ability to easily handle today's productivity and entertainment applications while at the same time receiving the maximum amount of battery life.
For improved 2D and 3D graphics and video performance, Fujitsu has outfitted the P2000 with the latest ATI(R) Rage Mobility(TM)-M1 graphics controller and doubled the amount of video memory. The result compliments the notebook's existing popular multimedia capabilities which include a modular DVD/CD-RW combination drive, letterbox-like 10.6-inch wide SXGA TFT display and 5.1 surround sound quality with Dolby(R) Headphone software.
No other notebook on the market combines so much functionality in such a compact form factor. The machine takes up a mere 10.6 inches wide by 7 inches deep by 1.59 inches high of space and weighs a slight 3.4 pounds. Its modular bay design allows users to easily remove the optical drive and either slide in a second battery or pop in the weight saver to reduce the weight to an even lighter 2.8 pounds. The addition of the modular battery and high-capacity battery provides up to an unprecedented 14 hours of computing time. For those who like to travel light, the LifeBook's standard battery can still achieve up to an impressive 3.5 hours of life.
The P2000 is sold through Fujitsu's retail and reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com.

June 11 - New Products, Services and Memory Choices Spur Digital Audio Growth. Due to the introduction of new products and services, the digital audio market is entering a new era, according to In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com).

The high-tech market research firm reports that with the availability of file swapping and new online subscription services and portable players with 10GB and higher storage capacity, consumers now have more choices than ever for how they enjoy their music.

As a result, revenues derived from sales of online music (both physical media products and those that are downloaded) and digital music players will experience exceptional growth rates.

Despite current controversy over the delivery of digital music, online music revenues are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 33.4 percent between 2001 and 2006 and portable digital music player unit shipments (including solid state and revolving media products) will grow from about 7.2 million in 2002 to almost 30 million in 2006.

"One of the significant factors affecting the portable digital audio player market is the increasing variety of players available," said Cindy Wolf, an analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "The success of Apple's iPod has led many manufacturers to enter the hard drive-based segment of this market."

Revolving media will also experience growth due to the inexpensive cost of blank CDs, the availability of networked products, and the growing percentage of consumers with CD burners.

Though the digital audio market has grown from a fledgling niche market, the industry will still experience significant hurdles in the coming year or two. Subscription services and anti-piracy technologies will need to address issues from a consumer, manufacturer, and record label perspective. Legal issues affecting the worldwide music industry will also have an effect on the industry.

"Though the recording industry finally seems committed to establishing a viable online distribution model," said Wolf, "the labels will be in a much better position to understand how to structure their services to entice customers in another 12 to 18 months."

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- When comparing online music sales by segment, revenues from
actual "physical media" music products will account for the
lion's share of total online sales. Revenues from downloading
and streaming are expected to remain less than 10 percent of
total revenues through the year 2004.

-- Consumer interest seems to validate the concept of a home
jukebox with an integrated hard drive. This year will see the
introduction of many new home jukebox products offering a
variety of features and hard drive options.

June 11 - BiTMICRO Networks Introduces World's First ATA/UDMA-66 Flash Disk. Following the recent announcement of its ATA/UDMA flash disk series initiative, BiTMICRO Networks unveils today the UDMA-66 flash disk storage devices at TechNet 2002 AFCEA International Conference being held in Washington D.C.

BiTMICRO's ATA/UDMA-66 flash disk drives support an expansive array of embedded and applied computing applications that require high performance, reliability and ruggedness. First customer shipment of these devices to several of BiTMICRO's customers in communications and network elements, video on demand, in-flight entertainment, film editing, military, aerospace, manufacturing automation, oil pipeline monitoring, and other industrial and embedded applications are scheduled this month.

The 2.5-inch E-Disk 2A66 and 3.5-inch E-Disk 3A66 ATA/UDMA-66 flash drive devices are the first in the industry. These flash drives support PIO Modes 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 and UDMA Modes 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4. By eliminating seek time, latency and other electro-mechanical delays inherent in conventional hard disk drives (HDD), they have read and write rates of up to 66.6 MB/sec and random access time of less than 0.068 milliseconds.

The UDMA E-Disks are high capacity flash disk drives available in a variety of sizes. The low-profile E-Disks in 2.5-inch HDD footprint are offered with 128 MB minimum capacity under 8.5 mm and up to 17408 MB in 24.9 mm height. The 3.5-inch version comes with maximum capacity of 77824 MB in 50.4 mm height and minimum capacity of 128MB in 13.13 mm height.

E-Disks offer unparalleled advances in flash drive solid state storage technology. With higher data rates, they also operate dependably in adverse environments including unstable and ungraceful power degradations, 120,000 feet high operating altitude, 1,500 Gs and 16.4 Gs of shock and vibration respectively in all axis, and military operating temperature of -60 degrees to +95 degrees centigrade. They are lightweight and consume only 4.5 watts of power.

For pricing and more E-Disk technology information, visit www.bitmicro.com.

June 11 - Wireless Continues to Displace Traditional Telephone Service. Research data suggests that the move to wireless phone service is accelerating, according to a recent study by Solomon-Wolff Associates, a New Jersey-based market research firm.

Currently, almost six out of 10 U.S. households use wireless phones, with projections expected to increase to almost 80 percent by 2007. In addition, the average household using wireless phones, is using 1.84 wireless phones, up from 1.5 phones three years ago.

"The displacement of traditional phone services is seen when you examine data on spending levels," says Joey Wolff, partner, Solomon Wolff Associates. "Wireless customers now spend an average of $61 a month for their wireless service. For comparison, they spend $41 for traditional (wired) local phone service, and $34 for long distance. Over the past three years, spending for wireless service has increased by $9 a month, while spending for traditional local phone service declined by $7 a month and long distance has declined by $22 a month."

According to Wolff, spending for wireless service varies little from company to company, which shows that the trends are broad and not the result of specific price plans. Customers of Verizon wireless, AT&T wireless, Cingular, and Sprint PCS, the largest wireless companies, on average spend between $61 and $67 a month. Together, these four companies account for almost three fourths of wireless customers.

Almost one in five consumers (19 percent) report that they use wireless for "most" of their calling, and one in 10 use wireless for all of their long distance calling. A similar trend is beginning to occur in local phone calling. Currently one in ten consumers report that they use wireless for "most" local calling and three percent make all their local calls using wireless.

"The attractive wireless pricing plans, those letting customers call to distant locations for the same price as local calls, have been an important factor in shifting calling away from traditional long distance companies," explained Ms. Wolff, "Another trend that is impacting on the major long distance companies is the aggressive pricing offered by new long distance companies. The major companies have to reduce their prices to remain competitive. This means even lower revenues for the leading long distance companies."

June 10 - AMD Introduces Athlon XP Processor 2200+ . AMD (NYSE:AMD) today introduced the AMD Athlon(TM) XP processor 2200+ with QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture--the first AMD desktop processor based on its 0.13 micron process technology. The new AMD Athlon XP processor 2200+ delivers improved performance, lower power and a smaller die size while maintaining a stable, compatible Socket A infrastructure.
"AMD is dedicated to excellence and continuously innovates with the customers' needs in mind. End users are demanding a better computing experience, and providing powerful solutions is our top priority," said Ed Ellett, vice president of marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "AMD continues to focus on offering high-performance end user benefits such as faster rendering times, better database performance and smoother video and audio editing."
Desktop PCs based on the AMD Athlon XP processor 2200+ are available today from Hewlett-Packard Company in the United States and Fujitsu-Siemens in Europe.

Availability

Systems featuring the AMD Athlon XP processor 2200+ are available today through HP's configure-to-order program on its Compaq Presario 8000Z series home desktop PCs in the United States. Also, the new processor is planned to be available in HP Pavilion 562 series home desktop PCs under the same program (www.hp.com) starting June 12.
Desktop PCs based on the AMD Athlon XP processor 2200+ are also available today from Fujitsu-Siemens in Europe.

Pricing

The new AMD Athlon XP processor 2200+ is priced at $241, in 1,000-unit quantities. For more information visit, http://www.amd.com.

June 10 - NEC Unveils Newest Outdoor Ultraportable Notebook. Today, NEC Solutions America introduced the Versa(R) E120 DayLite(TM), a highly specialized new ultraportable notebook designed for mobile professionals that work outdoors.

NEC developed the new Versa E120 DayLite to address three primary problems users encounter when computing outdoors, including screen glare from direct sunlight, limited battery life and concerns regarding durability.

With this criterion in mind, NEC engineered the Versa E120 DayLite with a more customized set of features and capabilities for outdoor use, including a large, illuminated reflective display, additional power sources for maximizing battery life and an optional rugged carrying case for protection and improved durability -- while still offering all the performance and functionality of a full-featured notebook system.

"We are working with customers in both commercial and vertical markets that are using mobile technologies outdoors in remarkable new ways, ranging from civil engineers and architects working on location, to sports trainers analyzing athletic performance, to digital photographers working in the field," said Larry Miller, vice president and general manager, Mobile Solutions Division, NEC Solutions (America), Inc.

"These same customers, however, are finding that the 'one-size-fits-all' approach of a conventional notebook doesn't solve their individual computing requirements or adapt to their unique working environments, and are instead seeking more customized mobile solutions like the Versa E120 DayLite to meet their needs."

The Versa E120 DayLite features an illuminated reflective display that is viewable outdoors and in direct sunlight, but also at night or indoors via a switch on the display panel that can instantly augment screen brightness depending on the user's workspace lighting. The dual functionality of an illuminated reflective display provides users with the freedom and flexibility to use the system in both outdoor and indoor environments.

In addition, NEC engineered the Versa E120 DayLite with a number of power-saving features to address the crucial battery life requirements professionals working outdoors demand when computing away from a power source. The Versa E120 DayLite features the Low Voltage Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Processor at 800MHz with Intel(R) SpeedStep(TM) technology that provides the power and performance for everyday applications, but at a significantly lower power consumption rate.

The new system also comes equipped with two power sources, including a built-in Lithium ion battery, as well as removable, ultra-thin Lithium ion battery slice that attaches under the base of the notebook. By combining the illuminated reflective display with the low voltage Intel processor and dual batteries, the Versa E120 DayLite is ideally suited to operate for extended periods of time without recharging.

More information can be found at www.necsolutions-am.com/mobilesolutions.

June 10 - PDA Cost of Ownership Projected at $3,000 Per User. As enterprises equip more employees with PDAs, they must understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) for these devices. Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB) analysts said the TCO for a PDA per user can approach $3,000 a year.
TCO for a wireless device will mostly add additional hardware, software and service costs on a per-user basis compared to mobile (but not wireless-enabled) devices. Additional software and service costs can vary, but average about $50 per month per user. Gartner found PDA TCO approaching $3,000 per user per year. Adding a wireless modem with a TCO of $1,392 will bring the cost to $4,392, comprised mostly of hardware, support and additional service fees
"When assessing the total costs of wireless mobile products, we found that the more capable the device the higher the cost. The more processing power it has, the more applications it can store, leading to higher support and operational costs," said Phil Redman, research director for Gartner. "Beyond typical costs for a mobile device, there is an additional and recurring cost element for wireless connectivity."
The TCO for an integrated wireless PDA can be broken out into various cost segments. 60 percent of the cost will go to capital (this includes hardware, software and network services), 30 percent to operations (this includes technical services and support, peer support, application management, and development), and 10 percent to administration (includes evaluation, implementation and training).
Service costs are the biggest impact on wireless WAN TCO capital costs, so consolidating network service providers, bundling services and aggressively negotiating contracts are best practices to reduce overall TCO.
For more information, visit www.gartner.com/eu/mobile.

June 10 - Alienware Announces Gaming Machine with 1066MHz RDRAM. Alienware(R) Corporation announced that their flagship system, the Area-51, is now available with Rambus (Nasdaq:RMBS) 1066MHz RDRAM memory.
The Area-51 is the first system with 1066MHz RDRAM memory to hit the consumer desktop market. By pairing the newly released Pentium 4(R) Processor with 533MHz front side bus and 1066MHz RDRAM memory, the Area-51 delivers a seamless 4.2GB/s of memory bandwidth for optimal gaming performance.

The latest Alienware Area-51 system consists of the following components for The Ultimate Gaming Experience:

-- Intel(R) Pentium 4 Processor at 2.53GHz

-- 533MHz front side bus with 512KB Cache

-- 512MB 1066 MHz RDRAM, expandable to 2GB

-- NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti4600 with 128MB Dual Monitor Support

-- SoundBlaster Audigy 5.1 Sound Card

"We are excited to offer 1066 MHz RDRAM memory," said Kevin O'Neill, senior product manager for Alienware Corp. "Rambus' latest memory technology helps take the performance of our award-winning systems to new, unprecedented levels."

Alienware's full line of products can be found at www.alienware.com or by visiting any Best Buy retail stores nationwide via their Computer Creation Station.

June 09 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - Best Buy is offering a Compaq Celeron 1.2 GHz complete system for $599.
CompUSA has a HP 1.6 GHz complete system for $899.
Best Buy also has an Athlon HP 1600+ complete system for $899 and they are also offering a 2.0 GHz Compaq Pentium 4 notebook for $1749.

Weekly Comparison.

Notebooks - Prices are falling on notebooks but are still not the lowest we have seen. This week we've seen the first 2 GHz notebook advertised.
Desktops - This week's 1.2 GHz Celeron system for $599 is not as good of a deal as a previous week's 1.3 GHz Celeron system for the same price.
Prices are a little lower on Pentium 4 desktops compared to last week. Prices on Athlon "+" processor desktops are about the same.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton,Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

BestBuy is giving away 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 12 months of interest free financing on on all notebooks over $298. Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, build-to-order packages, and notebooks with Intel processors. They are also offering a Best Buy $100 gift card with all 1.7 GHz or faster desktop computers.
Circuit City is giving 12 months of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase and no interest for 12 months on Intel processor computer packages and notebooks.
Office Depot is offering no interest, no payment, financing for 6 months on purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering 12 months no interest/no payments on any Intel Pentium 4 processor complete system or notebook over $298.
Staples no ad today.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday Ad prices to those being offered at 160 online computer stores.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before purchase.
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 5 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more information on Windows XP see our Windows XP Upgrade Guide.

Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before you buy. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

Definitions. A desktop system/package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a vendor's store. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.2 GHz complete system
$599
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.6 GHz complete system
$899
CompUSA
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.0 GHz Complete System
$1349
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
HP 1600+ complete system
$899
Best Buy
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Compaq 1900+ complete system
$1149
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.1 GHz Duron with DVD
$999
CompUSA, Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 2 GHz Pentium 4 DVD/CD-RW
$1749
Best Buy

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you make informed buying decisions.

 

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