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Daily Computer News and Rumors

November 08-14 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 Daily Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news. Previous Daily Computer News articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Nov 14 Intel Delivers 3 GHz Hyper-Threading Pentium® 4 Processor
Nov 14 ATI Releases DirectX 9.0 Beta Driver for New Radeons
Nov 14 Logitech io Personal Digital Pen Now Available in the U.S
Nov 14 Nextel to Introduce PDA Phone for Business
Nov 14 Sonic to Acquire VERITAS' Desktop and Mobile Division
Nov 14 Video-On-Demand Prices Too High?
Nov 13 Fujitsu Forges Ahead With Next Generation Touch Screen Notebooks
Nov 13 Tablet Computers Pass Election Day 2002 Test
Nov 13 Zayo Introduces New Razor Handheld
Nov 13 Miramar Releases Latest Version of PC MACLAN
Nov 13 Wacom and Cross Announce New Executive Pens for Tablet PCs
Nov 12 Toshiba Announces Unique Fusion of Notebook and Tablet PC
Nov 12 Apple Introduces New Titanium PowerBook G4 with DVD-RW
Nov 12 Estari Introduces the 2-VU™ Dual-Screen Mobile Laptop
Nov 12 Transmeta's Crusoe Processor Selected for Long Battery Life Tablet PCs
Nov 12 Worldwide Prints from Consumer Digital Cameras Will Reach 11.8 Billion in 2005
Nov 11 AMD Confirms Fourth Quarter Outlook
Nov 11 ViewSonic Introduces Tablet PC
Nov 11 HP Announces Tablet PC
Nov 11 Electrovaya's SCRIBBLER Only Tablet PC to Last a Full Working Day
Nov 10 Sunday Shopping Watch
Nov 08 IBM Announces New 80 GB Mobile Hard Drive
Nov 08 Tablet PC Shipments Will Account for 1 Percent of All Notebook Shipments for 2003
Nov 08 Worldwide Semiconductor Market to Grow 12 Percent in 2003
Nov 08 Other World Computing Introduces 200GB External FireWire Drive
Nov 08 SIA Projects Double-Digit Growth for Global Semiconductor Sales
Nov 08 DIRECTV Achieves 11 Millionth Customer Milestone
Nov 07 Faster Intel Xeon Processors Ship for High-End Servers
Nov 07 LapLink Announces Next Generation Remote Access Software
Nov 07 Education Key to Future Success of New Consumer Electronics Products
Nov 07 Nokia Sees Future in Multimedia Phones
Nov 07 Broderbund Launches Total Burn Platinum Suite

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Nov 14 -ATI Releases DirectX 9.0 Beta Driver for New Radeons. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT)(TSX:ATY) today continued its commitment to deliver the most advanced, high-quality graphics solutions with the release of a new beta software driver supporting Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9.0 Release Candidate 0 (RC0) application program interface (API).
ATI's new driver, CATALYST(TM) Beta Release Candidate 0 (BRC0), provides the industry's first support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 and enables end-users to take full advantage of the most current hardware and software features, creating a richer and more immersive 3D graphics experience.

ATI is the first and only accelerated graphics vendor to currently provide game developers and hardware enthusiasts with support for DirectX 9.0 through RADEON(TM) 9700 PRO, RADEON(TM) 9500 PRO, RADEON(TM) 9700 and RADEON(TM) 9500 graphics chips. With products spanning from high-end to the performance mainstream, ATI helps end-users extend the lifespan of their accelerated graphics processors by delivering next-generation performance and features to users, today.

"Today's beta driver release is further testament to ATI's continued leadership in the graphics industry," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Desktop Business Unit, ATI Technologies Inc. "ATI and Microsoft will continue to work closely together to develop the necessary software resources to help end users enhance their gaming and visual adventure."

"We're delighted that ATI is releasing a driver that works with and benefits from our latest version of DirectX. The combination of DirectX 9.0 and ATI's driver, CATALYST Beta Release Candidate 0, will provide incredible levels of gaming and cinematic realism," said Dean Lester, General Manager Windows Graphics and Gaming Technologies, Microsoft Corporation.

In the spirit of delivering visual and cinematic realism, ATI is also releasing four demos - 'Pipedreams,' 'Rendering with Natural Light,' 'Car,' and 'Bear' are the first publicly available content to exercise the advanced performance capabilities of DirectX 9. ATI's CATALYST Beta RC0 driver and the demos are available for free download today at www.ati.com.

Nov 14 - Logitech io Personal Digital Pen Now Available - Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI)(Switzerland:LOGN) is now shipping the Logitech(R) io(TM) Personal Digital Pen to a variety of online retailers and catalogs in the U.S.

Announced earlier this year, the Logitech io pen lets people easily share, store, organize and retrieve their handwritten information by simply writing with ink on paper -- the way they always have.

An optical sensor embedded in the pen captures the handwritten images, storing up to 40 pages in memory.
This captured digital information can then be transferred into the PC by synching the pen via a USB cradle. The Logitech(R) io(TM) solution offers total mobility, since all that is necessary to carry is the pen and a digital paper notebook.

The complete Logitech io retail package includes the pen, a rapid-charging USB cradle, Logitech io Software, one Mead(R) Cambridge(R) Limited Digital Notebook, Post-it(R) Software Notes-Lite and one pocketbook of Post-it(R) Notes for Digital Pens from 3M, an AC adaptor and five ink refills.
Later this year, FranklinCovey(R) will introduce FranklinCovey(R) iScribe Digital Planning pages for use with the Logitech io pen (see www.franklincovey.com/iscribe for information). Additional digital paper can be purchased wherever the pens are sold.

"The io has received an enthusiastic reception from our channel partners," said Chris Bull, director of marketing for Retail Pointing Devices. "We expect equally positive acceptance from consumers looking for a better way to organize and use their handwritten notes."

System requirements for the Logitech io pen include a PC running Windows(R) 98 or higher, a 233 MHz or higher processor, 64 MB RAM (minimum - 128 MB recommended), Internet access, Microsoft(R) Internet Explorer 5.01 or later and Microsoft(R) .net framework (both included on CD in the retail package), an available USB port, CD ROM drive and pre-printed digital paper (initial supply included).
Email support requires a MAPI-compatible email client such as Lotus Notes(R) or Microsoft(R) Outlook(R).

Suggested price for the pen plus supporting software and digital paper is $199.95 USD. For more information visit www.logitech.com.

Nov 14 - Nextel to Introduce PDA Phone for Business. The line between computers and cellular phones is being erased with next generation PDA/phone hybrids. The much-anticipated release of Nextel's BlackBerry 6510 could make everything in the office available in a single handheld device.

The new hybrid combines Nextel's cellular phone service - and its exclusive Direct Connect (TM) 'walkie-talkie' technology - with BlackBerry's wireless email access to make the ultimate business tool. The phone, which looks like a mini-computer with a large format screen and full keyboard, offers many computer functions: secure access to corporate email, a personal organizer with calendar and contacts that works with multiple email and organizer software packages, Internet access and Java-enabled business applications.

The device can also link up to corporate intranets and back office systems, allowing inventory tracking, order entry and other tasks to be done on the run.

BlackBerry PDAs are used by about 13,000 businesses and organizations in North America and Europe. Nextel is a leader in wireless business solutions. The device will be available on December 2, 2002. For more information, visit www.nextel.com.

Nov 14 - Sonic to Acquire VERITAS' Desktop and Mobile Division. Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq:SNIC) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Desktop and Mobile Division ("DMD") of VERITAS Software Corporation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sonic will acquire DMD's products including RecordNow for CD and DVD-ROM burning applications, Drive Letter Access (DLA), Simple Backup and Backup MyPC. With the acquisition of DMD, Sonic will offer the broadest product line of software for CD and DVD burning including audio, data, and backup as well as VCD and DVD video creation. The addition of DMD also allows Sonic to expand its engineering, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales, and marketing teams to better support the leading PC, drive and graphics card OEMs.

"The DMD group is a perfect complement to our team at Sonic," said Bob Doris, president of Sonic Solutions. "Together, we can realize one of our key goals: to provide our OEMs with a complete product line based on a common core engine for CD and DVD formatting and burning. This provides the greatest compatibility and reliability, and also makes it much faster and easier for OEMs to test and qualify new applications and updates."

"We're very pleased to learn of this combination," said Andy Parsons, senior vice president of Pioneer's Business Solutions Division. "Both Sonic and DMD have been involved with DVD almost from the beginning of the format and both groups have worked closely with us over the years to help deliver DVD-R/RW recorders to both professionals and consumers. The integration of Sonic's DVD-Video authoring expertise with DMD's mastering technology is an important step in helping our industry achieve the compatibility that's key to consumers embracing personal DVD creation."

Under the agreement with VERITAS, Sonic will issue $9.2 million of convertible preferred stock to VERITAS for the DMD group's technology. Joining Sonic will be the DMD development and quality assurance team for RecordNow and RecordNow Max and other DMD products as well as the marketing, field sales, and the field application engineering (FAE) organization devoted to providing OEM customers with integration assistance and ongoing support. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. The deal is expected to close toward the end of November.

With the acquisition of DMD's products, the expanded Sonic product line of desktop applications will include:

Backup MyPC - A powerful yet easy-to-use data protection and disaster recovery solution for single computers or peer-to-peer networks. Advanced scheduling features and single-button operation enable users to back up their entire computer to DVD and CD-recordable, DVD-RAM, tape or other removable media.

CinePlayer(TM) - Delivering the highest-quality DVD and Video CD playback available on PCs, CinePlayer is the first DVD player to support the OpenDVD(TM) format, making it possible to seamlessly open an OpenDVD project in Sonic MyDVD for further editing.

Drive Letter Access - Drive Letter Access enables simple drag-and-drop data burning to DVD and CD recordable on Windows PCs.

DVDit!(R)- DVDit! is the leading DVD authoring application for videographers and corporate video producers publishing on DVD.

MyDVD(R) - The first DVD authoring application designed for consumers, with Hollywood-quality video and menus and simple Direct-to-DVD functionality, MyDVD is the leading DVD solution among DVD recorder and PC manufacturers.

RecordNow(TM) - Bringing simple CD and DVD burning to the PC, with its wizard-based interface, RecordNow enables consumers to create music CDs, MP3 CDs, and data CD and DVDs.

RecordNow Max(TM) - The complete CD and DVD data mastering solution, providing users with audio, CD, DVD, video, and MP3 recording applications to create music CDs, share digital photos, or create data CDs or DVDs.

Simple Backup - The easiest way to backup a PC, Simple Backup's wizard-based interface puts data protection and disaster recovery in the hands of any PC user.

Sonic can be found online at www.sonic.com.

Nov 14 - Video-On-Demand Prices Too High? How much revenue will be lost by charging too much for movies-on-demand? More movie studios and cable operators should ponder this question, since the figure could ultimately reach $1 billion per year.

Currently, most cable companies charge customers approximately $4 to order a recently released movie on-demand. Unfortunately, operators may be forfeiting substantial profit by pricing their service too high. While the missed opportunity may amount to less than $100 million by the end of this year, it will increase dramatically during the next few years as the number of VOD-capable households expands and as movies are eventually released to VOD and home video at the same time.

According to "Video-On-Demand: An Innovative Analysis of Key Market Issues and Consumer Demand," a new 25-page report from Innovista Research, the optimal price for a movie on-demand is less than $4. This lower price will be significantly more profitable, because the proportion of customers who will order a movie at the optimal price is much greater than the number of customers who will pay $4. In addition, lower prices for VOD will improve its perceived value, a factor that predicts customers' price sensitivity and ordering frequency.

For more information visit www.innovista.tv/vodreport.php.

Nov 13 - Fujitsu Forges Ahead With Next Generation Touch Screen Notebooks. Fujitsu PC Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), today introduced the latest models of its innovative touch screen LifeBook(R) B Series and LifeBook P1000 notebooks with performance enhancements and added features for increased productivity.

"Both new touch screen LifeBook notebooks demonstrate our commitment to creating the most complete collection of mobile computing solutions," said Sara Nelson, vice president of marketing, Fujitsu PC Corporation. "By combining exceptional functionality with maximum portability, both the LifeBook B Series and LifeBook P1000 notebooks meet the requirements for healthcare professionals, sales reps and other highly mobile professionals."

LifeBook B Series Notebook

Weighing only three pounds and featuring a 10.4-inch touch screen display, the Fujitsu LifeBook B Series notebook is ideal for users who seek a single mobile computing solution they can carry in the field as well as use as their primary computing solution back in the office. The passive touch screen display provides a large surface for users to easily navigate and access data using a stylus or their fingertip while advanced security features, including a programmable security panel and Smart Card reader, offer added protection for sensitive data.

The latest generation is powered by an Ultra Low Voltage Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Processor 850MHz - M which supports Enhanced Intel SpeedStep(R) technology. This enhancement provides increased performance while at the same time extending the system's battery life. With the standard six-cell high capacity battery, users can receive up to an impressive 5.5 hours of computing life.

To address a variety of computing environments, Fujitsu outfitted the LifeBook B Series notebook with a built-in modem and 10/100 base-Tx Ethernet. For those who roam, a model with an integrated WiFi(TM)-compliant wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b) and built-in modem is also available. Pricing for the LifeBook B Series notebook starts at $1,899.

LifeBook P1000 Series Notebook

The Fujitsu LifeBook P1000 Series notebook remains unchallenged as the world's smallest touch screen notebook. Designed for maximum portability, the system weighs a mere 2.2 pounds and features a power-efficient 800MHz Crusoe(TM) TM5800 processor with LongRun(TM) power management. Users can receive up to four hours with the notebook's standard main Lithium ion battery or opt for the high-capacity main battery to get up to nine hours of life.

To even further extend the concept of all-day computing, Fujitsu offers a variety of communications options allowing users to stay connected throughout their day. A built-in modem, 10/100 base-Tx Ethernet and integrated WiFi-compliant wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b) come standard.

The notebook's 8.9-inch wide-format touch screen display with its 15:9 aspect ratio adds to its appeal, offering a longer horizontal surface area ideal for users to easily view and navigate forms, spreadsheets and other similarly oriented files.

The LifeBook P1120 notebook is available with pricing starting at $1,199.

The LifeBook notebooks are currently shipping with several recommended configurations available and can also be customized through the Fujitsu Configure To Order (CTO) program. Fujitsu LifeBook notebooks are sold through the company's retail and reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com.

Nov 13 - Tablet Computers Pass Election Day 2002 Test. Several states including California, Louisiana, Maryland, and Texas introduced tablet-based computers and similar touch-screen devices on election day to avoid controversy at the polls. Tablet computing technology helped provide a more efficient, streamlined process as a result of its ability to provide electronic ballot tabulation.

Similarly, Microsoft's much-anticipated announcement of the Windows XP Tablet Edition has been met with incredible media response ranging from outright support to blatant criticism and/or skepticism.

Having hosted two extremely successful Tablet PC Summits, Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC(R)) has observed high levels of interest in purchasing tablet-computing solutions. While interest has been piquing, many conferees attending the recent summits have mentioned that they are waiting for Microsoft to fully commit to the space before they make final purchasing decisions.

According to Rich Tehrani, Editor-in-Chief of TMC's Planet PDA Magazine, "We have been waiting impatiently for over a year for Microsoft's latest tablet related OS to be released. While the general media has been skeptical, I am certain that the Tablet PC will excel as an additional computing platform. There is an intersection of applications that require the portability of a PDA and the horsepower and screen-size of a notebook. This intersection of applications is perfectly suited for Tablet PCs!"

Added Tehrani, "The recent introduction of tablet computers to the election process is a perfect example of how this technology combines computing power with portability allowing new computing applications to be implemented, solving real-world problems with ease. The medical industry and other niche markets have been taking advantage of tablets for almost a decade! The beauty of Microsoft's announcement is that it brings tablet technology to the mainstream, reducing cost while promoting a common computing platform."

Today's Tablet PC has the potential to become the most powerful, versatile tool that will allow the mobile workforce to share information, work together on content, send notifications, and update tasks among all pertinent parties at the same time, regardless of location. These unique features will help reduce errors and eliminate lost information since everyone can be kept in the loop.

Imagine a boardroom full of executives, managers and support staff conducting a meeting where no whiteboard, note pads or recording devices are required. Each meeting attendee shares notes on their personal tablets. Remote attendees can participate seamlessly by using their tablets and a wireless connection.

Marc Robins, TMC's Vice President of Publications and Trade Shows, says "Tablet PCs -- when effectively deployed in an organization --can dramatically improve productivity and increase profitability. Today's latest tablet PC products offer a variety of advanced features, including integrated wireless networking, advanced handwriting recognition, speech recognition and expansion possibilities that will one day enable the paperless office."

If you would like to learn more about tablet PCs please attend Tablet PC Summit(TM) on May 19, 2003 at the Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel in Danvers, Massachusetts. This special workshop will showcase the most advanced organization-level tablet PC solutions and discuss the latest market projections and industry trends affecting tablet PC development.

For complete conference information, visit www.tabletpcsummit.com.

Nov 13 - Zayo Introduces New Razor Handheld. As the fastest, thinnest, lightest and best-looking Pocket PC on the market today, Razor Zayo is the must-have gadget for big kids this holiday season. In fact, BusinessWeek recently reviewed and described the new Razor Zayo as "zippy, slim, lightweight, and fast."

The Zayo combines Razor's cool cachet with the muscle of Intel's most powerful processor. Zayo gives users DVD-like video quality and a bright LCD touch screen that provides clearer images, less eyestrain, and a smoother, longer-running handheld. Weighing in at less than five ounces and sized to go (4.9 x 2.9 x .5 inches), this lightweight champ is the smallest in the Pocket PC market -- making pocket calculators seem bulky. Zayo's standard rechargeable, lithium polymer battery provides up to 12 hours of use (with the optional battery bank, battery life can be extended to over 20 hours of use).

"Whether it's a scooter or an Intel-powered PDA, it's not a Razor unless it sports the very best in cutting edge technology and design. Razor Zayo is guaranteed to turn heads this holiday season," says Razor USA president Carlton Calvin.

The Zayo is available at Office Depot, Staples, BestBuy.com and other quality retailers across the United States. The suggested retail price for the Zayo is $549.99 ($499.99 with $50 rebate).

About the Razor USA/Zayo Partnership:

Zayo Technologies and Razor USA LLC have partnered to release the Razor Zayo Pocket PC, the first in a line of PDA devices from the two companies.

Founded in June 2000, Razor USA LLC (www.razor.com) is a privately held company based in Cerritos, California and holds the worldwide rights to the Razor brand.

Founded in July 2002, Zayo Technologies (www.zayotech.com) is dedicated to creating the most innovative handheld computing technology on the market today. The company has partnered with ASUS, the premier OEM motherboard manufacturer and the manufacturer of the Razor Zayo Pocket PC.

Nov 13 - Miramar Releases Latest Version of PC MACLAN. Miramar Systems(TM), the world's leader in PC/Mac connectivity, announced today the immediate availability of PC MACLAN Version 9.0.

Award winning PC MACLAN now supports larger file sizes, offers expanded printer support, provides full support for OS X 10.2, supports network drives, and is easier to install and set up. In this age of switch to this and switch to that, PC MACLAN provides end-users the freedom to create a harmonious network between platforms.

With support of the latest version of AppleTalk Filing Protocol (AFP 3.0), PC MACLAN now supports files over 2Gb in size, longer file names, and larger partitions, allowing the user to maximize network and PC resources. Large file sizes are very common for users working with the latest digital media formats, and this new support makes it easy to share these large files between the two platforms. In addition, with PC MACLAN, Macs on the network have full access to any PC or server that the PC can access. These powerful features give users the most robust and flexible connectivity solution available.

Miramar studied user patterns to determine the areas to improve in this latest release of PC MACLAN. Many first time users needed a simpler way to configure their multi-platform network. The new user-friendly Wizard Interface allows easy set up and quickly enables bi-directional, cross-platform environments for sharing files, drives and printers. The product also ensures that a network adapter is correctly selected.


Miramar's PC MACLAN products for Windows 95/98/ME and Windows NT/2K/XP allow users to network with Mac operating systems to create a seamless network of PCs and Macs. This is the only Windows-based product that allows Macs and PCs to share files, drives and printers bi-directionally on a LAN, WAN or wireless network. This newest release works over the Internet, wireless networks and on a local area network. Most common network adapters are supported. Many companies and individuals use wireless networks to reduce setup and configuration and to allow for mobility in the office or home.


PC MACLAN v.9.0 will be generally available on November 25th, 2002 from Ingram Micro, MicroWarehouse, CDW, and PC Connection or direct from Miramar Systems. Previous version PC MACLAN users have the option to purchase upgrades, which are available directly from Miramar Systems. Pricing was not announced.

For more information, visit Miramar Systems online at www.miramar.com.

Nov 13 - Wacom and Cross Announce New Executive Pens for Tablet PCs. Wacom Technology, the world's leading maker of computer graphics tablets and electronic pens, and A.T. Cross Company (ASE-ATX), a leading manufacturer of fine writing instruments, have partnered for the first time in the development of two executive pens for the Tablet PC.

The pens are for use with any of the Penabled(TM) Tablet PCs announced at Microsoft's launch of the Tablet PC platform. Tablet PCs provide the functionality of notebook computers while offering natural pen-based computing capabilities.

Penabled Tablet PCs use patented Wacom technology that allows the pens to be cordless and batteryless, provide 256 levels of pressure and have optional electronic erasers.

The Tablet PCs shown to date include the Acer Travelmate C100, the Fujitsu and Fujitsu Siemens Computers Stylistic ST Series Tablet PC, the Motion Computing M1200 Tablet PC, the Toshiba Portege 3500 Tablet PC, the Viewsonic Viewpad V1100, the WalkAbout Hammerhead XRT, and the Xplore Genesys IIITPC.

Other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are expected to announce Penabled Tablet PCs in the future. Tablet PCs must be Penabled to use the new executive pens, and the pens are necessary for optimum pressure sensitivity and eraser functions.

The two new pens have a sleek, modern metallic look. One model is with a cap and one is without a cap. The pens have a single side switch, which can be set as a right mouse button. They are capable of 256 levels of pressure so line and signature width, as well as darkness, can vary according to hand pressure. Both have a pocket clip, and both have an electronic eraser, which is a unique feature of Wacom Penabled pens.

"We are excited about working with A.T. Cross in providing new levels of quality and style for computer pens," said Joe Deal, Wacom president. "These new pens with their patented cordless, batteryless, pressure-sensitive features are ideal for use by executives and information workers with Tablet PCs for taking notes in meetings for later reference."

"Tablet PCs represent the future of mobile computing, and we are delighted to be partnering with Wacom in this more natural, pen-based form of computing that blends the simplicity of pen and paper with the productivity of a notebook computer," said John Ruggieri, president of the Pen Computing Group at A.T. Cross. Price and Availability

The two executive pens will be available for sale to OEMs and also in the Wacom and A.T. Cross retail channels during the second quarter of 2003. Prices have not been announced.

The companys' websites can be found at www.cross.com and www.wacom.com.

Nov 12 - Toshiba Announces Unique Fusion of Notebook and Tablet PC. Leveraging an unparalleled history of developing innovative mobile computing designs, Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the Portege(R) 3500 Series Tablet PC that extends the boundaries of performance and productivity for today's mobile work force.

Running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system, Toshiba's wireless convertible Tablet PC combines the power and functionality of a notebook computer, while adding the simplicity and convenience of pen and paper.

Together, Toshiba, Microsoft and Intel technologies bring enhanced functionality and capabilities to the Portege 3500 Series allowing mobile customers to experience their PC in new and exciting ways.

"Because Toshiba has focused on mobile computing for more than 15 years, we have a unique understanding of what our customers' wants and needs are for new mobile platforms," said Oscar Koenders, vice president product marketing and worldwide product planning, Toshiba CSG.

"The product is a direct result of listening to our customers and delivering a product that will add functionality to their traditional notebook, and add productivity to their business."

New Levels of Creativity & Productivity

The Portege 3500 Series incorporates the intuitive fusion of pen and paper into the notebook experience allowing users to communicate with their notebook in a more natural way. Weighing 4.1 pounds, the comfortable and lightweight design holds like a book, and the robust dual-action swivel hinge easily guides the transformation from notebook to Tablet PC mode.

"Toshiba is known for its expertise in delivering inventive computing platforms," said Alexandra Loeb, vice president of the Tablet PC division at Microsoft Corp. "By adding the pen-based simplicity Windows XP Tablet PC Edition provides, Toshiba has taken the notebook PC to a whole new level."

A Powerful Wireless Computing Tool

Toshiba's Portege 3500 Series features an 802.11b Wireless LAN Module and an integrated Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b/a) antenna, Bluetooth(TM) wireless connectivity options and 10/100 networking, so users can share information and access Internet connections in more locations, such as hotels, airports, at home or in the field.

The product also includes an Intel(R) Pentium(R) III-M processor, 1.33GHz , Secure Digital (SD) Media slot as well as integrated CompactFlash(R) to maximize workforce productivity.

For more information visit the company's Web site at www.csd.toshiba.com.

Nov 12 - Apple Introduces New Titanium PowerBook G4 with DVD-RW. Apple® announced a major upgrade to its Titanium PowerBook® G4 notebook line with PowerPC G4 processors running at up to 1 GHz, the industry’s first slot-loading SuperDrive™ for reading and burning both CDs and DVDs, the fastest mobile graphics processor, the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000, and integrated 802.11 wireless networking—all in a 1-inch thick, 5.4-pound Titanium enclosure with a widescreen 15.2 inch (diagonal) display.

“This is what our customers have been waiting for. The Titanium PowerBook G4 is the thinnest and lightest pro notebook in the industry,” said Greg Joswiak, vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. “The new PowerBook packs a 15.2-inch screen, 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, CD and DVD burning SuperDrive and ATI Radeon Mobility graphics into a 1-inch thin, 5.4 pound Titanium package. No other pro notebook comes close to these features.”

The new PowerBook G4 line offers fast PowerPC G4 processors running up to 1 GHz with Velocity Engine™ and 1MB of performance-boosting level 3 cache. Combined with the power of Apple’s UNIX-based Mac® OS X version 10.2 “Jaguar,” the new PowerBook G4 runs professional applications including Adobe Photoshop up to 44 percent faster than a 2.2 GHz Pentium 4-based notebook.
The fastest PowerBook ever now offers even more incredible 3D graphics performance with the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 graphics processor featuring up to 64MB of dedicated Double Data Rate (DDR) video SDRAM and advanced capabilities such as programmable pixel and vertex shading for lighting and shadow effects, photorealistic 3D performance and cinematic-quality video. The PowerBook G4 also offers fast Ultra ATA/66 hard drives up to 60GB and support for up to 1GB of memory.

Offering the latest in mobile communications, the PowerBook G4 has built-in antennas and an AirPort Card slot for 802.11-based AirPort wireless communications at up to 11 megabits per second; the 1 GHz model comes with an AirPort Card pre-installed. The PowerBook G4 offers built-in Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and a 56K internal fax/modem with support for the latest v.92 standard with new features such as faster upstream data rates.

The new PowerBook line starts at just $2,299. The 867 MHz Titanium PowerBook G4 is available now, and the 1 GHz model is expected to be available in mid-November through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), and at Apple’s retail stores.

Nov 12 - Estari Introduces the 2-VU™ Dual-Screen Mobile Laptop. “It is becoming increasingly clear that the desktop PC as we know it, is dead,” says Dr. George Crist, CEO and Chairman of Estari, Inc., developer of the first dual-screen computer. “As the marketplace scrambles to find new ground we have seen several large PC makers adopting the tablet PC. The initial response to the slate concept, however, has left consumers wanting, leaving the market convinced that the tablet is not the next form factor of choice. In response, Estari is replacing the office desktop PC with the 2-VU™, dualscreen mobile laptop.

The 2-VUs will be unveiled and available for ‘test drives’ in Booth #10253 at Comdex Fall 2002, Las Vegas, NV, November 18-22, 2002.” As reported by one computer news outlet, IDC analyst Alan Promisel said, “I am not optimistic about the tablet PC form factor as a slate.” Forrester Research analyst Jed Koko told the Christian Science Monitor that his firm is seeing an increase in demand for laptops to supplement desktop units. He said that he believes that as more people do this, they will begin to accept laptops as replacements for their boxy, workplace PCs, even though they may never take them out on the road.

“Estari Inc. is on schedule to deliver the 2-VU™, its patented dual-screen mobile laptop computer, to selected vertical markets in early 2003,” says Dr. Crist. Unlike tablet PCs, the 2-VU™ has two full-sized (13.3- or 15-inch diagonal), full color touch screens. To develop the 2-VU, Estari has capitalized on the most accepted informational form factor of all time, the book.

“This is no e-book,” Dr. Crist remarks, however, “This is a two-screen computing powerhouse with battery life that surpasses its one-screen competitors. I cannot be clearer about this point, the 2-VU goes far beyond where any dedicated ebook reading device has ever ventured. Our initial buyers, which unfortunately must go unnamed at this point, are far from your casual readers.”

Unlike the slate and tablet PC platforms, the 2-VU™ allows users to work with
two full-page files or documents simultaneously, without scrolling, reformatting or
reflowing the text. Users can flip though a reference book on one screen, while
referring to a website on the other, or take handwritten notes in an on-screen notebook
as they page through a business plan or spreadsheets on the other side. Items can be
dragged from an application on one screen and dropped onto the other screen with the
same or a different application.

The 2-VU™ uses a Microsoft Windows® XP or 2000 operating system and
FileScout™, Estari’s digital document management software package, which will
organize and manage information in virtually any file format – wherever the
information is located.
Customers will soon be able to order 2-VUs from Estari’s
websites: www.dualscreen.com, www.estari.com, or through selected resellers.

Nov 12 - Transmeta's Crusoe Processor Selected for Long Battery Life Tablet PCs. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) today announced that its energy-efficient Crusoe processor has been selected for long battery life Tablet PCs, including HP's new Compaq Tablet PC TC1000, the first to use Transmeta's new 1 GHz Crusoe TM5800 processor.

The Crusoe processor allows computer makers to offer long battery life and performance in slim, cool-running, small form factor Tablet PCs. The new generation of Tablet PCs suits the mobile and multi-functional requirements of today's computer user and the Crusoe processor balances battery life and performance needs to maximize computing efficiency and user productivity.

Tablet PCs offer significantly greater functionality, mobility and versatility than traditional notebook PCs. One of the most important new dimensions of Tablet PCs is the addition of a pen-driven input and "digital ink," for the first time giving users the option to interface with their personal computers much as they would with a pad of paper and a pen, but with far greater flexibility.

"The energy-efficient properties of Transmeta's Crusoe processor, combined with the power-management features of Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, provide users with more flexibility and mobility with their full-function mobile PCs than ever before," said Alexandra Loeb, vice president of the Tablet PC division at Microsoft Corp. "Working together for the past few years, the two companies are excited to finally bring the vision of the Tablet PC to users today."

To learn more about Transmeta visit www.transmeta.com.

Nov 12 - Worldwide Prints from Consumer Digital Cameras Will Reach 11.8 Billion in 2005. Total direct prints from consumer digital cameras will grow from 4.5 billion prints in 2001 to 11.8 billion prints in 2005 worldwide, according to a new study published by Lyra Research and Photofinishing News.

The report, Opportunities and Challenges in Consumer Online Photosharing and Photoprocessing, studies trends in consumer behavior. While some 80 percent of digital photos were printed at home in 2001, the study projects that, in percentage terms, photos will increasingly be printed at retail locations or via an online service, with home printing accounting for just 53 percent of photos by 2005.

This report notes one reason for this change in printing behavior is that consumers are finding the feature-packed digital camera with complex photo-printing software can often be too complicated. Consumers want both capture and output functions simplified.

"Over the next couple of years, consumers will begin to favor printing in retail establishments. The prices of prints, when the cost of media and ink is considered, still favor retail printing, although we do expect significant declines in home-printing supplies costs," says Don Franz, president of Photofinishing News, one of the report authors. "Convenience and time considerations will be the deciding factors. We feel that consumers will ultimately opt for that traditional printing choice, although the digital print-fulfillment infrastructure still needs to be put into place."

On the technology side, the report notes that today's photos are produced on a variety of media, including silver-halide, ink jet, and dye-sub media. An in-depth review of worldwide media ratios reveals that silver-halide will continue to be the dominant technology, dropping to just below 90 percent of total prints in 2005.

"While silver-halide is dominant, great strides are being made in increasing the speed of ink jet photo printing systems while lowering the consumables costs," says Edward Lee, senior analyst and director of Lyra's Digital Photography Service. "The capital cost of a new ink jet system is roughly half the cost of comparable silver-halide systems. Those selling ink jet systems speak of the 'total cost of ownership' rather than about a per-print cost. From a purely economic analysis, the number of prints that will be produced over the lifetime of the system might determine the choice of ink jet or silver halide."

Lyra Research can be found online at www.lyra.com.

Nov 11 Veteran's Day - AMD Confirms Fourth Quarter Outlook. Speaking at AMD's (NYSE:AMD) annual analyst meeting today, AMD President and Chief Executive Officer Hector Ruiz confirmed that he expects a sales increase of 20 percent or more in the fourth quarter of 2002, compared to the third quarter ended September 29, 2002.

Ruiz expressed confidence about the company's fourth quarter outlook. "Based on anticipated seasonal patterns, the benefits of a better balanced inventory in the supply chain, and expected significant Flash memory sales improvement, we currently anticipate a sales increase of approximately 20 percent or more in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter," said Ruiz.

"The launch of new processors, such as the AMD Athlon 2400+, 2600+, 2700+, and 2800+ microprocessors, affords us a richer product mix that puts us in a stronger competitive position across a broader landscape. In addition, demand for our Flash memory products, including our new MirrorBit(tm) offering, is accelerating. These competitive microprocessor and Flash memory products are expected to have a positive impact on fourth quarter sales."

Ruiz also offered detail regarding AMD's plans to reach its breakeven point, saying, "We are accelerating our strategy to reset our business model and lower our corporate breakeven point. We have already begun implementing aggressive actions in the fourth quarter that are expected to significantly reduce our quarterly breakeven point in 2003. An associated pre-tax charge of several hundred million dollars will be taken in the fourth quarter."

AMD will announce its fourth quarter earnings on January 16, 2003.

Editor's Note: AMD appears to still be having trouble producing Athlon XPs at speeds of 2400+ and faster. Their 2200+ systems are rarely advertised in Sunday ads, which shows AMD still has not shipped their new Athlon XP CPUs in large quantities. AMD will probably miss out on the Christmas shopping season, while Intel continues to mass produce Pentium 4 CPUs at 2.8 GHz and take back market share.

More information on AMD can be found at www.amd.com.

Nov 11 - ViewSonic Introduces Tablet PC. ViewSonic(R) Corporation, a worldwide Visual Technologies(TM) leader, announced today the launch of its Tablet PC V1100, optimized to work with Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.
The Tablet PC V1100 combines all the features of a mobile PC with pen-activated screen and digital inking to enhance wireless computing, making it possible for information workers to bring the power of their business PC into more places than ever before.

Powered by Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, the Tablet PC V1100 combines a high-powered, Ultra Low Voltage Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Processor-M and lightweight design with built-in wireless capability to deliver all the benefits of a fully functional portable PC. The V1100's ergonomic "slate" design supports the user's grip and handwriting, allowing mobile professionals to easily and naturally take, convert, organize and e-mail notes, whether they are sitting at their desks or on the road.
The added convenience of speech and keyboard input, coupled with the mobility of traditional desktop applications, enables users to more effectively facilitate key business activities such as managing tasks and accessing data from remote locations.

The Tablet PC V1100 features the latest Ultra Low Voltage Mobile Intel Pentium III Processor - M at 866 MHz, along with 256MB RAM, 20GB hard drive and a 56Kbps modem, to deliver a powerful computing experience. It features a full color 10.4-inch display and up to a three-hour battery life, but weighs just 3 pounds and is less than one inch thick.
This lightweight design combined with an embedded 802.11b wireless solution redefine PC mobility. An optional dock adds one-touch access to common USB peripherals, local area networks, and includes an integrated CD-ROM. A suite of accessories includes an extended battery, battery charger, USB keyboard and handgrips for added protection.

"The Tablet PC represents the evolution of the business notebook PC," said Alexandra Loeb, vice president of the Tablet PC division at Microsoft Corp. "The ViewSonic Tablet PC V1100's sleek slate design will enable customers to experience immediate productivity gains by using their familiar PC applications more often and in different situations than ever before."

The ViewSonic Tablet PC V1100 is currently available through authorized resellers, retailers and catalogers at an estimated street price of $1995. ViewSonic can be found online at www.viewsonic.com.

Nov 11 - HP Announces Tablet PC. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today is changing the landscape of mobile computing with the introduction of the Compaq Tablet PC TC1000, a versatile, full-function mobile PC that adapts to the way users work.

Wireless-enabled and highly portable, the tablet PC combines the power of digital inking technologies in the Windows(R) XP Tablet PC Edition operating system with a full-function PC. It allows users to work in ways that are comfortable, familiar and efficient without sacrificing the capabilities they have come to expect with conventional Windows(R) XP-based PCs.

When used as a tablet, the Compaq Tablet PC captures digital ink as it flows from an electronic pen onto the PC's screen, much like a person would use pen and paper. When typing is preferred, users can simply snap on a lightweight, removable keyboard and convert the Compaq Tablet PC into an ultra-portable notebook.

Combined with its innovative docking solution, a full-size keyboard and a monitor, the Compaq Tablet PC transforms into a full-function desktop PC. The flexible docking solution also allows users to place the Tablet PC in a natural, comfortable position to write on the screen while at a desk.

The docking solution provides customers the ability to use two display monitors at once, expanding the work space and increasing productivity by allowing users to view multiple applications on either an optional second monitor or the Tablet PC screen in portrait or landscape mode. The Compaq Tablet PC features "grab-and-go" functionality, allowing a customer to seamlessly transition from a desktop to mobile environment.

"We designed the Compaq Tablet PC to adapt to the way people work in today's fast-paced business environment," said Alex Gruzen, senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile Computing Global Business Unit, HP Personal Systems Group. "When it's time for a meeting, the customer can just grab the Tablet PC and go -- taking notes and doing email on a wireless network.

"When back at the desk, the Compaq Tablet PC uses an innovative docking system to transform into a full-featured desktop with monitor, mouse and full keyboard. When you need to travel, simply grab the attachable keyboard and go, our design allows customers to stay fully productive through their entire business day."

Measuring merely 0.8-inch thin and weighing only three pounds, the Compaq Tablet PC TC1000 delivers all the performance and features users expect to find in a full-function Windows XP Professional ultra-portable notebook. The tablet PC also includes: a Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 1.0-GHz processor that delivers an optimal combination of battery life and performance; a 10.4-inch TFT display featuring a wide viewing angle, hardened cover glass and NVIDIA GeForce2 Go 100 high resolution graphics; built-in 802.11b wireless LAN capabilities; up to 60 GB SMART hard drives; and USB 2.0 connectivity.

Available direct from HP and through authorized resellers, the Compaq Tablet PC TC1000 is priced starting at $1,699. More information about Compaq Tablet PC TC1000 is available at www.compaq.com/tabletpc.

Nov 11 - Electrovaya's SCRIBBLER Only Tablet PC to Last a Full Working Day. Electrovaya Inc. (TSX:EFL) launched the SCRIBBLER today, the world's most mobile Tablet PC and the only one available that meets Microsoft's mobility goals of lasting a full working day without needing recharging.
Electrovaya's SCRIBBLER will run the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system, enabling users to do everything they do with a PC today, plus the added capabilities of entering, searching and storing notes with a stylus pen.

"What's the point of a mobile device if it doesn't last as long as you do?" asks Dr. Sankar Das Gupta, Electrovaya's founder and CEO. "The SCRIBBLER offers eight to 16 hours of computing run time, depending on the applications used. That's up to four times more than any other Tablet PC."

The SCRIBBLER is powered by Electrovaya's patented SuperPolymer(TM) lithium ion battery. The super thin, lightweight batteries have the highest energy density compared to other commercially available rechargeable batteries. The SCRIBBLER will be available with batteries from 80 to 160 Watt hours of energy. Standard Tablet PC batteries only have 25 to 30 Watt hours of energy.

Weighing less than four pounds, the SCRIBBLER offers all the applications demanded of a laptop, but adds greater portability. The SCRIBBLER includes a unique integrated keyboard.

"The SCRIBBLER is unlike any device available in the computing industry today," Das Gupta said. "We believe mobile professionals will appreciate its unmatched mobility."

"Electrovaya has made great progress developing innovative PC and battery technologies that are a natural fit for the needs of a today's mobile worker" said Alexandra Loeb, Vice President of the Tablet PC division at Microsoft Corp. "Our customers will benefit from both the powerful new Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system, which allows them to work in more places and ways then ever before, and the ability to work a full day of uninterrupted battery life on their SCRIBBLER Tablet."

Electrovaya's SCRIBBLER is available in three models. The SCRIBBLER SC 300 has 80 watt hours of run time and uses Intel's Ultra Low Voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 733MHz processor. It has 256 MB RAM and a 20 GB hard drive. The SCRIBBLER SC 300 retails for $US 2,299.

With 96 watt hours of run time, the SCRIBBLER SC 500 uses Intel's Ultra Low Voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 866MHz processor, has 512 MB RAM and a 30 GB hard drive. It retails for $US 2,699.

The SCRIBBLER SC 800 has additional fingerprint security access features to protect users' vital information and offers 96 Watt hours of computing run time. It uses Intel's Ultra Low Voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 866MHz processor, has 512 MB RAM and a 30 GB hard drive. It retails for $US 2,799.

All three models can be personalized with a variety of covers, cases and computing options, such as increased RAM, hard drive and battery run time. They are now available through selected resellers or Electrovaya's Web site at www.electrovaya.com.

Nov 10 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. Prices in all categories were the same or lower than last week.

Laptops - Low-end laptop prices were down this week. High-end laptops were also lower this week. Sony finally has shipped some Pentium 4 laptops, let's hope this is the end of the old $1500 Pentium III laptop being pushed by retailers.

Desktops - Stores were again advertising 1.4 GHz Celeron systems, however we are no longer including these systems in our pricing reviews as we believe they are obsolete. Prices on 1.7 GHz Celerons were much higher. This week you can actually buy a 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 for less than a 1.7 GHz Celeron.
In general Pentium 4 desktop prices moderated compared to last week. No new Media Center PCs, that run Windows XP Media Center, were advertised this week.
Only one AMD desktop was advertised. Obviously, AMD needs to do a much better job of getting retailers to sell its desktop products. Of course, this is probably a reflection of AMD's continued problem of manufacturing Athlon's faster than the 2200+ in sufficient quantities.

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 offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They also have a $100 mail-in rebate on all laptops, and 12 month no-interest financing on all laptops.
Circuit City is giving away 3 months of free AOL on any in-store computer purchase. In addition they are offering 12 month no interest financing on all laptops, and $100 instant gift cards with all desktop packages and laptop purchases.
Office Depot has 12 month no interest financing for purchases over $298.
CompUSA is giving away 3 free months of AOL with any computer purchase and they have 12 month no interest financing for desktop complete system or laptop purchases over $498.
Staples is offering $100 mail-in rebates on desktops purchased with monitors, and on all laptops.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

New Oct 27 ** Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Celerons. The 1.7 GHz Celeron has replaced the 1.4 GHz and slower Celerons in the low-end retail market. As the 1.7 GHz Celeron is socket compatible with the Pentium 4, it is potentially upgradeable to faster Pentium 4 processors. The older 1.4 GHz and slower Celerons cannot be upgraded without a conversion kit.
Again, 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 video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more 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 $600 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Laptops - AMD Duron, AMD Athlon 4, and Intel Pentium III laptops should only be purchased at significant discounts. These processors have been superseded by the newer mobile AMD Athlon XP+ and the Intel Pentium 4-M processors.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 12 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25, 2001. 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 complete desktop system/package/complete 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 computer manufacturer. 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 Sunday Ad Deals
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.8 GHz complete system
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 2.0 GHz computer with 17 inch monitor
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
Compaq 2.4 GHz complete system
Circuit City, CompUSA
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz complete system
Best Windows XP Media Center
None Advertised      
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
None Advertised      
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2200+ complete system
Circuit City
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1500+ with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba Celeron 1.5 GHz with DVD
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba Celeron 1.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.0 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy, CompUSA
Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Starfleet Command III
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Sims Deluxe Edition
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 120 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive

(after rebates)

Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
$99 (after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Gainward 128 MB GeForce 4 Ti4200
(after rebates)


InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime


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 can help you make informed buying decisions.

Nov 08 - IBM Announces New 80 GB Mobile Hard Drive. IBM today introduced the world's highest capacity mobile hard disk drive at 80 GB -- made possible by enhancements to the company's patented "Pixie Dust" technology, boosting storage density by 100 percent.

As part of the same family of products, IBM also announced plans for a new 7200 RPM performance category, offering workstation performance with freedom of mobility.

The new Travelstar 80GN breaks current areal density records by allowing up to 70 billion bits of data to be written on each square inch of disk space. IBM achieved this by adding another coating of "Pixie Dust" -- or an additional ruthenium/magnetic layer to create a five-layer sandwich called laminated-"Pixie Dust." These additional layers bring about an even higher signal-to-noise ratio which allows data recording at ultra high densities while maintaining data integrity. With this new data density record, IBM is quickly approaching the 100 gigabits/square inch the company predicted "Pixie Dust" would achieve in 2003.

Announced last year, "Pixie Dust" is an IBM data storage breakthrough achieved by sandwiching a three-atom-thick layer of the element ruthenium, a precious metal similar to platinum, between two magnetic layers -- technically called antiferromagnetically-coupled media. That only a few atoms could have such a dramatic impact caused some IBM scientists to refer to the ruthenium layer informally as "Pixie Dust."

The Travelstar 80GN is based on proven reliability and a mature design with high shock robustness and low power consumption. And a new 8 MB cache contributes to making the 80GN the world's highest performing 4200 RPM mobile hard drive. In addition, IBM reduced drive operating acoustics by as much as four decibels, continuing the Travelstar 80GN's leadership as the world's quietest mobile hard drive. The 80GN will be available in 20, 40 and 80 GB capacities. IBM has begun to ship sample Travelstar 80GN drives to customers, with volume shipment scheduled for January 2003.

"You won't find a mobile hard drive on the market today more technologically advanced than the Travelstar 80GN; it is the standard by which all mobile hard drives will be measured," said Bill Healy, vice president, mobile product line, IBM Storage Technology Division. "Demands for increased performance and greater capacity continue to grow, and with the unveiling of our plans for the 7200 RPM Travelstar, we are providing a clear vision for delivering on those requirements for our customers."

Also new to the Travelstar 80GN is a stiffer drive top cover with circular grooves to protect the drive. The raised circular grooves give the top cover more stiffness, which protects the drive when external pressure is applied during handling.

The new Travelstar family, which includes performance speeds at 4200, 5400 and 7200 RPM, underscores IBM's market and technical leadership in mobile hard disk drives. The new Travelstar family represents the twenty-sixth generation of IBM mobile hard drives.

IBM can be found online at www.ibm.com.

Nov 08 -Tablet PC Shipments Will Account for 1 Percent of All Notebook Shipments for 2003. Despite much publicity and market promotion, the Tablet PC is not expected to result in a high rate of early adoption. In 2003, Tablet PC shipments are projected to reach 425,000 units, representing 1.2 percent of worldwide notebook shipments, according to Dataquest Inc, a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

"Tablet PCs will have a natural fit in many vertical applications that currently use pen-based tablets," said Ken Dulaney, vice president and research area director for Gartner. "However, a lack of application support, clumsy hardware designs and a price premium will be barriers for most users."

The majority of early purchases are expected to be made by businesses, especially within vertical industries, buying in lots of one to 10 for evaluation purposes. Consumers and business executives looking for the latest new gadget on the market will also make up a majority of early shipments.

"Initial interest could cause an early spike in purchasing that will eventually level out," said Leslie Fiering, vice president for Gartner Dataquest. "Outside of the vertical industries, only the bravest will implement Tablet PCs widely toward the end of 2003."

More than 20 PC hardware vendors will be releasing new Tablet PCs within the next year. These Tablet PCs include a new data type, ink and capture handwriting or drawings via pen input.

Gartner analysts said the Tablet PC is first and foremost a software evolution that extends the Windows operating environment and Microsoft applications to support a variety of media types (ink, voice, video) and input methods (pen, speech, onscreen keyboard).

"While it is true that hardware has to change to make the Tablet PC ergonomically feasible to access the newest media type and ink, it is the strength of users' desire to use the new software that will largely determine the extent and speed of the change of the hardware," Fiering said.

Despite the slow start, Tablet PC adoption is expected to ramp up, so that by 2007 at least 35 percent of all notebooks sold will have screen digitizers with a convertible or separable keyboard design.

For more information visit www.gartner.com.

Nov 08 - Worldwide Semiconductor Market to Grow 12 Percent in 2003. The worldwide semiconductor market is forecast to post double-digit growth in 2003 with revenue totaling $171.8 billion, a 12.1 percent increase from 2002 estimates, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

Gartner analysts presented these findings today during the Gartner Dataquest Technology Pipeline conference, which is taking place November 5-7 in Los Angeles.

In 2001, worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $152.5 billion, a 32 percent decline from 2000. In 2002, the market is beginning to see signs of recovery, as revenue is projected to reach $153.3 billion, a 0.5 percent increase from 2001.

"The semiconductor market recovery in 2002 has progressed as expected, with strong growth in the first half of 2002 as inventories were replenished, and weaker growth in the second half of the year," said Richard Gordon, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's semiconductor research group.

"Although semiconductor sales in the third quarter of 2002 held up reasonably well, benefiting from a degree of seasonal strength, that strength has not carried forward into the fourth quarter and highlights the poor state of electronic equipment production."

The worldwide digital cellular handset market is one of the few bright spots in the semiconductor industry and is driven primarily by a replacement cycle as the industry shifts from second generation (2G) to 2.5 generation (2.5G) cellular, which is good news for semiconductor vendors as it increases demand for silicon on rich handsets.

Gartner Dataquest analysts said that while PC unit production growth has stalled in 2002, a corporate PC replacement cycle is becoming overdue and cannot be put off much longer.

"A broader-based recovery in electronic equipment production, especially in the wired communications segment, is unlikely to begin until 2004, suggesting a limited impact on semiconductor sales in 2003," Gordon said. "2003 is forecast to be a transition year, as a phased recovery in end markets gradually works its way back to fuel incremental semiconductor sales growth."

More information on Gartner Dataquest's semiconductor research can be found in the Gartner Semiconductor Focus Area at www.gartner.com/1_researchanalysis/focus/semimkt_fa.html.

Nov 08 - Other World Computing Introduces 200GB External FireWire Drive. Other World Computing (OWC) today introduced three new Mercury Elite Pro external FireWire storage solutions featuring the industry's largest and fastest hardware. The new drives break performance and size barriers with 8MBs of cache and storage capacities of 200, 180 and 120 Gigabytes (GBs).

The Elite Pro hard drives' high-performance 8MBs of cache offer significant data transfer benefits in both burst data and sustained overall performance when compared to models with only 2MBs of cache. The new models measure 1.5-inches x 9.0-inches x 5.5-inches and weigh less than three pounds. The drives offer convenient plug-and-play capability, which allows for easy transfer and connection to and from office, home or off-site presentation computers.

"These new drives offer unprecedented speed and capacity and are ideal for people who use their computers to store and edit digital photos or videos, back up internal hard drives, or work with large, high-quality graphics or multimedia files," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC. "With compressed digitized video taking up 13GBs per hour, storage can go quickly, while transferring the data can cause a headache. However, with the Mercury Elite Pro storage line, capacity is hardly an issue, and the large 8MB cache ensures the highest possible level of performance."

All Mercury Elite Pro drives ship with Intech HD SpeedTools, a FireWire cable, external power adaptor and a two-year OWC warranty. The drives are compatible with Apple OS 8.6 and higher, as well as Windows 98, 2000 and XP.

Pricing for the new Mercury Elite Pro FireWire models is as follows:

-- 200GB 7200RPM model w/8MBs of cache: $499.99,

-- 180GB 7200RPM model w/8MBs of cache: $449.99, and

-- 120GB 7200RPM model w/8MBs of cache: $295.99.

The Mercury Elite Pro FireWire drives are available exclusively through OWC at www.macsales.com.

Nov 08 - SIA Projects Double-Digit Growth for Global Semiconductor Sales. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today released its 2002-2005 annual forecast, projecting an industry recovery with double-digit growth over the next two years. Worldwide sales of semiconductors are expected to increase by 1.8 percent in 2002, by 19.8 percent in 2003, and by 21.7 percent in 2004.

AMD Chairman W. J. ("Jerry") Sanders III presented the new forecast at the SIA's 25th Annual Forecast and Award Dinner held in San Jose, Calif. "The long-awaited recovery is under way," said Sanders. "We believe the next several years will see steady growth following the industry's steepest-ever decline in 2001." Sanders noted that worldwide semiconductor sales are now projected to surpass the peak revenues of 2000 in 2004.

"It is now clear that 2000 was a bubble that distorted the industry's compound annual growth rate, pushing it above 16 percent," said Sanders. "We believe that compound annual growth rates in the range of 8 to 10 percent will be the norm going forward over the longer term. This will represent a sea change for our industry. We can no longer count on the proverbial rising tide that lifts all boats. Nevertheless, a huge industry with compound annual growth averaging 8 to 10 percent will continue to offer opportunities for significant growth for companies that consistently deliver desirable products for their target customers," he added.

The SIA forecast includes detail on regional semiconductor markets and products such as:

World Markets: "Reflecting the rapid shift of contract manufacturing operations to the Asia-Pacific region -- primarily China and Taiwan -- semiconductor consumption in this region grew by 30 percent," noted Sanders. "In 2001, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 29 percent of worldwide semiconductor consumption. In 2002, we project that this number will rise to 37 percent -- the largest one-year shift in consumption patterns in history."

Americas Market: The Americas will decline 12 percent to $31 billion in 2002, and then grow 14 percent to $36 billion in 2003, 22 percent to $43 billion in 2004, and then decline 4.6 percent in 2005 to $41 billion.

European Market: This region will decline 9.0 percent in 2002 to $27 billion, and then grow 18 percent to $32 billion in 2003, 19 percent to $39 billion in 2004, and decrease 1.0 percent to $38 billion in 2005.

Japanese Market: The Japanese market will decrease 7.5 percent to $31 billion in 2002, increase 22 percent to $37 billion in 2003, 18 percent to $44 billion in 2004, and then remain nearly flat, decreasing at 1.3 percent in 2005 to $43 billion.

Asia Pacific Market: Of all the semiconductor regions, this region shall experience the strongest growth in 2002 with sales increasing 30 percent to $52 billion, and should continue growing in 2003 and 2004 24 percent to $64 billion and 25 percent to $80 billion, respectively. Like the other markets in 2005, Asia Pacific will experience a slowdown, reporting growth of 3.0 percent to $83 billion.

For more information visit www.semiconductor.net.

Nov 08 - DIRECTV Achieves 11 Millionth Customer Milestone. DIRECTV, Inc., provider of the nation's leading digital satellite television service and a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation (NYSE:GMH), announced today that this past weekend it activated its 11 millionth customer. Eight years after its national launch, DIRECTV is now the home entertainment service of choice in one of every nine TV homes in the United States.

"Our 11 million customers nationwide continue to enjoy and remain loyal to the DIRECTV service because we give them the ultimate home viewing and customer service experience. By offering more programming choices and channels, better quality and value, and more viewing control than customers have ever had before, DIRECTV has become one of the leading multichannel entertainment services in the United States," said Roxanne Austin, president and COO, DIRECTV, Inc.

"This milestone is also a testament to the hard work and dedication of all DIRECTV employees and the support of our programmers, retailers and partner companies who believed in us from the beginning."

Visit DIRECTV on the World Wide Web at www.DIRECTV.com.

Nov 07 - Faster Intel Xeon Processors Ship for High-End Servers. Intel Corporation is now shipping the Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processor MP with an enhanced two megabyte (MB) integrated level three cache at speeds up to 2 gigahertz (GHz). When compared to previous generation Intel Xeon processors MP, the new processor delivers up to 38 percent better performance for typical server workloads such as databases, customer relationship and supply-chain management, and further enhances scalability for the increasing demands of enterprise deployments.

Designed for mid-tier and back-end servers with four or more processors, today's Intel Xeon processor MP rounds-out Intel's delivery of industry-leading 0.13 micron process technology for its IA-32 server processor family. This technology enables smaller processors at faster speeds and allows for additional performance enhancements such as increased cache size. The new processor maintains hardware platform compatibility with previous generations, which helps reduce the cost of platform development and eases the integration of new systems into existing enterprise infrastructures.

"Intel-based servers continue to enjoy outstanding acceptance by customers," said Mike Fister, vice president and general manager of Intel's Enterprise Platform Group. "We are committed to accelerating the introduction of innovative technologies, such as the larger cache Intel Xeon processor MP at 2 GHz, which enhance server performance, scalability and stability."

The Intel Xeon processor MP is based on the Intel(R) NetBurst(TM) microarchitecture and includes support for Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology. These features help software vendors enhance the performance of applications and operating systems running on Intel-based servers. Servers ranging from four to 32 processors and beyond using these technologies will be available from multiple vendors.

During the second quarter of 2002, Intel-based servers accounted for 87 percent of all server shipments and more than 73 percent of all four-way server shipments worldwide, according to industry analysts at IDC.
In addition, the Gartner Group forecasts that through 2007, revenues for 32-bit servers based on the Intel architecture will grow by a compounded annual growth rate of more than eight percent, which is twice as fast as the overall growth rate for the market segment. Gartner also estimated that Intel-based servers would comprise 52 percent of worldwide systems and servers' revenue in that same timeframe.

Pricing and Availability

The Intel Xeon processor MP at 2 GHz with 2 MB of integrated level three cache is available for Intel's suggested list price of $3,692 in 1,000-unit quantities. The Intel Xeon processor MP at 1.90 GHz with 1 MB of integrated level three cache and the Intel Xeon processor MP at 1.50 GHz with 1 MB of integrated level three cache are available for the suggested list prices of $1,980 and $1,177 in 1,000-unit quantities, respectively. Intel expects OEM and channel distributors to ship systems based on the new processor in the coming weeks.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Nov 07 - LapLink Announces Next Generation Remote Access Software. LapLink Inc., the recognized world leader in file transfer and synchronization, announced today the release of LapLink Everywhere(TM), the next generation of remote access software technology. LapLink Everywhere enables mobile professionals to have complete access to their desktop files and email from anywhere in the world--quickly, easily and securely.

"Up until now, individuals could purchase device specific software (like for the Blackberry) or application specific software (like Window's Outlook Web Access) to access limited information from their computers," said Mark Eppley, CEO of LapLink. "LapLink Everywhere offers the ability to access all of your information from up to three computers from any browser-enabled device--phone, PDA, Internet terminal, PC or an Apple MAC."

LapLink Everywhere offers "Zero Footprint" remote access to any Internet-connected PC from a laptop, another desktop, Web phone, PDA, Internet cafe, or airport kiosk--allowing confidential work from any device without leaving behind personal files on the device.
As long as there is a fully functioning web browser, the operating system of the remote device or computer does not need to match the home/office based PC. File transfer options use the classic LapLink split screen design and transfer files of any size using a simple, but fast, drag and drop method. File updates are dramatically faster by employing LapLink's patented "SpeedSync" file updating technologies.

Remote access of Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail, calendar and contact files is a key feature, offering the ability to send and receive e-mail and also view attachments. In addition, LapLink Everywhere allows user sharing--offering the capability of allowing other people access to view information.
Assistants can now access the same calendar while co-workers may be able to access working files. Some of the most sophisticated security features include "MD5" user name/password access, which denies unauthorized client access utilizing SSL and 128-bit advanced encryption standards.

"Digital River is excited not only to provide the e-commerce operations that support the launch of LapLink Everywhere, but also serve as a beta site. I'm a long-time LapLink user and was excited to test drive LapLink Everywhere," said Jim Biermeier, Sr. Director of Account Management at Digital River. "LapLink Everywhere provides a significant increase in the efficiency of mobile communications and could greatly impact the hectic lives of business professionals as it has mine."

LapLink Everywhere is available for $89.95 for 12 months of service ($7.49 per month) and can be downloaded from the LapLink website www.laplink.com. To celebrate the launch of LapLink Everywhere, LapLink is offering a free 15-day trial.

Nov 07 - Education Key to Future Success of New Consumer Electronics Products. Even in today's economic conditions, consumers are still purchasing and continue to express interest in consumer electronics.

However, educating consumers is still necessary in order to drive increased growth, according to a recent survey by In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com). For example, the high-tech market research firm reports that it has taken a few years for DVD technology to reach the mainstream and this will also be the case for newer products like personal video recorders (PVRs), satellite radio, online gaming, and other products that are in the early stages of their life cycles.

In-Stat/MDR's annual consumer survey asked over 100 questions about multimedia devices and correlated the results with demographic and related product and service ownership. The survey indicated that the most common devices currently owned by survey respondents include: cable TV service, CD recorders, and DVD players. The percentage of those owning DVD players has risen to 37.2% this year, up from 18.6% in 2001, likely due to the decrease in price of players and increased availability of DVDs.

The In-Stat/MDR survey also found that:

-- Overall, the number of respondents who own a PVR increased
slightly in the last year, which may be influenced by the
limited number of players in this industry, the price of the
devices, and their availability.

-- About 34% of 961 respondents own a video game console in
comparison to 28% in 2001. Of those who have a console capable
of online gaming now, or in the near future, respondents are
almost equally divided between "yes" and "no" in their
interest in online gaming.

-- The percentage of respondents owning digital audio players has
increased. Surprisingly, the highest percentage of respondents
with digital audio players are in the 35-54 age bracket, with
all other brackets holding nearly identical percentages.

Nov 07 - Nokia Sees Future in Multimedia Phones. "Nokia continues to benefit from good demand for color-screen phones with advanced mobile messaging capability," said Nokia Chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila on Tuesday, speaking at the seventh annual Nokia Mobile Internet Conference in Munich. Including new launches made on the eve of the event, the company now has 15 phones supporting MMS.

Ollila told an audience of developers, content providers and operators that in 2003, more than half of all Nokia phones sold would be MMS-enabled.

"Next year Nokia expects to ship 50-100 million devices which have a color display and an open application development platform. Of these phones, we expect roughly 10 million will be Series 60 based devices. The rest will be based on the Nokia operating systems and have the standard Open Mobile Alliance service enablers, including MMS, Java and browsing."

Ollila emphasized that the way forward in mobile communications would be through openness and collaboration and that the GSM/EDGE/WCDMA technology family would continue to set the global benchmark.

With the emergence of totally new categories in mobile devices, the transition to advanced mobile services is happening now. More than 60 network operators in Europe and Asia are already offering multimedia messaging services and the number is increasing every week. MMS-capable terminals, including those with digital cameras are in strong demand and more than one million Nokia 7650s, the company's first integrated camera phone, have already been sold.

On technology standards, the evolution from GSM to EDGE and WCDMA continues to be the most important path in the mobile world. More than 100 licences have been allocated by national administrations for the new 2GHz frequency band. Almost all licensees have chosen WCDMA technology - and the majority of these networks are currently being built. Looking ahead, the GSM family of technologies is estimated to represent 85% of all mobile phone subscriptions in the world by 2006.

What is an MMS Phone?

Pre Nokia, "MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) builds on the success of SMS (Short Message Service) text messaging and is a messaging service for the mobile environment.

"MMS makes it possible for mobile users to send mms messages (multimedia messages = photo, audio clip) from MMS-enabled handsets to other mobile users and to e-mail users. For the phone user, MMS is very similar to Short Message Service (SMS)."

For more information visit www.nokia.com.

Nov 07 - Broderbund Launches Total Burn Platinum Suite. Broderbund(R), a leading publisher of home productivity and digital media software, recently acquired by Riverdeep, Inc., today launched Total Burn(TM) Platinum Suite.

Comprised of five programs, Total Burn Platinum Suite focuses on CD and DVD burning including powerful applications that CD and DVD users will benefit from, such as video editing, photo editing, label creation and media organization. Whether storing data files, organizing digital photos, creating a video library, enhancing a music collection, or making your own DVD movie, Total Burn Platinum Suite is the complete editing and burning solution.

Step-by-step tutorials make burning CDs and DVDs simple and convenient. Users drag and drop files for quick and easy burning. Gone are the days of wasting time and ruining CDs. Now, smart recording technologies deliver fast and reliable burning. Total Burn Platinum Suite is robust and flexible, supporting widely recognized DVD media including DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW.

"Total Burn Platinum Suite makes the digital editing and burning process easy and affordable," says Joe Roberts, Riverdeep's president of worldwide product development and marketing. "This product meets the needs of users of all levels -- from the initial capturing of video, music and photos to the design of the media label."

Total Burn Platinum Suite is now shipping to stores with a suggested retail price of $99.99. Visit Broderbund at www.broderbund.com.



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