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New inexpensive notebooks from Sony

i700: another Pocket PC Phone Edition from Samsung

Sony Memory Stick roadmap updated

V8420S: Super Fast V8420 from ASUS

Microsoft Tablet PC: a tablet for life

22.2-inch TFT LCD monitor from Iiyama

Boards supporting Athlon XP thermal diode

VIA KT400 takes over the market?

VIA Host AGP 8X Validation: check your buses...

QDI Group KuDoZ 7X system board on KT400

New inexpensive notebooks from Sony

The trend of making budget notebooks for students spreads wider and wider. This happens because universities more often demand that students have their own computers. With this in mind, Sony again released new notebooks — VAIO PCG-NVR23 and PCG-FXA63 — for future students and their parents.

Notebooks are based on AMD Athlon XP 1800+ and Athlon XP 1600+ processors operating at 1.67 and 1.4 GHz clock rates, respectively. VAIO NVR23 graphics is also promised to feature one of the latest nVidia GPUs (supposedly, GeForce 4). Removable storage is interesting as well: VAIO NVR23 has a multi-purpose bay for subwoofer, touch pad or 3.5-inch floppy. CD-RW/DVD drive can not be removed, but is nevertheless present. LCD monitor is 15-inch in diagonal, hard disk capacity is 30GB, and RAM — 256MB.

VAIO FXA63 will be lighter, featuring 14-inch screen, 256MB RAM and 20Gb hard disk. It will also feature a 3.5-inch floppy, CD-RW/DVD, though without such exotics, as removable subwoofer, etc.

Both models will support i.LINK (IEEE1394), USB and (traditionally for Sony) Memory Stick. The approximate price of VAIO NVR23 is $1500, of FXA63 — $1400.

i700: another Pocket PC Phone Edition from Samsung

Just a week ago we reported that efforts of USA Federal Communications Commission helped to get to know about the new SCH-i600 CDMA communicator from Samsung Electronics.

Today the same sources reported that Samsung prepares another PDA/smartphone under the Pocket PC Phone Edition with a built-in camera — Samsung i700.

Supposedly, Samsung i700 will be first sold in USA for Sprint PCS subscribers (CDMA2000 1xRTT). The device itself looks like this:

Sony Memory Stick roadmap updated

DP Review published Memory Stick roadmap taken from Sony´s memorystick.org with approximate release dates for new 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB Memory Stick (Magic Gate).

As you can see up to 1GB cards will appear this year, 2GB and 4GB cards — in about 2004- 2005. It´s also interesting that semi-sized Duo cards will also reach 512MB and 1GB capacity soon.

V8420S: Super Fast V8420 from ASUS

ASUSTeK Computer presented a new ASUS V8420S (Super Fast) graphics card on GeForce4 Ti 4200.

To provide higher clock rates, the card has 3.3 ns memory and bases on 8-layer PCB used for the senior ASUS V8460. At that all samples are guaranteed to overclock higher than clock rates of ASUS V8460.

For those unwilling to overclock the card themselves, ASUS V8420S (Super Fast) is shipped with 20% higher core/memory clock rates, i.e. 260/275 MHz (550 MHz DDR), respectively.

The first Super Fast cards will have 128MB memory, two CRT outputs (the second — via DVI adapter), DVI-out and TV-out supporting up to 1024x768 resolution. The product will be supplied with drivers, proprietary ASUS DVD, three games and mentioned DVI-CRT adapter.

V8420S (Super Fast) will cost just $10 more than a standard variant.

Microsoft Tablet PC: a tablet for life

Today Japanese ASCII24 reported that Microsoft released its Tablet PC under new Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. USA and Japan sales will start on November, 7.

Currently the company is launch a competition for the best software development — from September, 26 to February, 28. Software developers can download Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SDK from the company website.

22.2-inch TFT LCD monitor from Iiyama

Iiyama announced 22.2-inch TFT LCD monitor supporting up to 3840x2400 resolution. AQU5611D BK is made for the enterprise market, graphics designers and photolabs.

Monitor interface features two video signal sockets. By the way, of cards supporting 38402400 company recommends ATI FireGL 4 and Elsa Quadro4 900XGL. Output from two cards to a single monitor is also supported.

AQU5611D BK other specifications: 0.1245 mm pixel size, 50 ms response time, 235 candles/sq.m brightness, 400:1 contrast. 170° horizontal and vertical viewing angle. Monitor size is 547x196x439 mm, weight — 11.4 kg.

Besides 22.2-inch AQU5611D BK, the company will release 20.8-inch AQ5311D BK. The suggested price is 998000 and 548000 yens ($8420 and $4625), respectively.

Boards supporting Athlon XP thermal diode

Introducing the more or less complete (at least for the end of July) list of boards supporting Athlon XP thermal diode:
  • ASUS A7V266-EX rev 2
  • ASUS A7V333 rev 1.1
  • ASUS A7N266-VM rev 1.04
  • ASUS A7N266-C rev 1.04
  • ASUS A7N266 rev 1.03
  • ASUS A7S333
  • MSI MS-6380E
  • MSI MS-6561
  • ABIT NV7-133 Rev .02
  • BIOSTAR M7VIF rev 1.0
  • Chaintech 7SJD
  • Soltek SL-75DRV5
  • Albatron KX400+
  • Leadtek K7N420D
  • Leadtek K7N415D
  • Jetway V333DA
  • QDI KD7X
  • QDI Npact2
  • FSC D1279
  • FSC D1289

I must note that despite announced support, some versions of A7V266-EX and A7V333 do not actually operate with thermal diode (not having necessary chips unsoldered).

Second, thermal diode support doesn´t mean correct hardware CPU protection from overheating. Actual protection (along with quality thermal monitoring) is currently provided only by D1289 board from Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

VIA KT400 takes over the market?

Just after the fanfares of new AMD FSB 333 MHz processors analysts forecast bright future to VIA in the AMD chipset market, speaking about KT400 timely volume shipments.

However, VIA itself reports that KT400 shipments will depend on releases of system boards on this chipset and KT333 stock sales. Though, many makers prefer to develop KT400 boards instead of upgrading KT333 BIOS to support new processor FSB.

VIA now has a nice chance to lead, while SiS and Nvidia lag behind with SiS746 and nForce 2 that won´t, most likely, appear before September. Perhaps, Nvidia will take its chance to win back due to agressive price policy — nForce 2 is expected to cost about $20-25 like KT400.

VIA Host AGP 8X Validation: check your buses...

Today in Taipei International Convention Center, Taiwan VIA Technologies together with ATI, NVIDIA and Microsoft organized an unusual qualification — AGP 8X Validation Event. All participants, being Socket 478 and Socket A mobo makers, could test their VIA Apollo P4X400 and KT400 boards for compatibility with AGP 8 graphics bus.

AGP 8X Validation Event will touch products from ABIT, Albatron, Acorp, AOpen, AZZA, BioStar, Chaintech, DFI, ECS, EPoX, Gigabyte, IWILL, Jetway, MSI, Shuttle, Soltek, SOYO and Tyan.

Pity, but SiS, not mentioned in the VIA press release, hasn´t taken part in the AGP 8X Validation Event. Pity again, as this company currently offers both chipsets, and graphics chips supporting AGP 8...

QDI Group KuDoZ 7X system board on KT400

Chinese QDI Group, known by its Legend trademark, announced the release of a new KuDoZ 7 motherboard (this serie includes Socket A boards on VIA Technologies chipsets).

KuDoZ 7X features ATX design and the newest VIA KT400 + VT8235 chipset bundle, has an AGP slot, 6 PCI slot, CNR slot, 3 DIMM slots (up to 3 GB of PC2100 and PC2700 DDR; PC3200 support is yet unproved). KuDoZ 7X features 6 USB 2.0 ports, integrated LAN. Like in case of the previous boards (KuDoz 7E/333), most likely, we´ll see two variants: without integrated audio and with AC´97 audio ("-A" suffix).

Like all QDI Group novelties, KuDoZ 7X supports all company technologies: BootEasy, StepEasy II, RecoveryEasy II, BIOS-ProtectEasy, LogoEasy II.

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