Laptop, Netbook, Smart Phone, Tablet – An Interactive Graphic

A new interactive infographic posted today gives a quick overview of the features of four different devices – a laptop, netbook, smartphone, and tablet.  If you are shopping for one of these devices this holiday season, and wondering which you should get, then the infographic linked below will give you a good starting point.  To get a general overview of what features are included with each type of device you can just hover your mouse over a device and the features it includes will be highlighted.  Hover over a feature and see which device it requires.

The infographic was posted by Chris Byrd, Corp Comm Social Media Team to the Dell blog.  Dell, of course, has a horse in this race – they make devices in all four categories.  However the graphic isn’t brand specific, but just gives an overview of features.  This by no means will tell you exactly what to buy, but it’s a cool, fun way to get you started in your shopping research.

Laptops, Netbooks, Phones & Tablets Interactive ComparisonLaptop, Netbook, Tablet, & Smartphone Comparison Interactive by Dell

The Names Now Forgotten

Picture by David Gerard

I’m packing up an old laptop to give away to a friend and checking through the bag to ensure that all the parts are there. As I do, a handful of PCMCIA cards fall out, all with names, products and technical details that are now part of history. A Xircom 10/100  Base TX Fast Ethernet adaptor. A US Robotics Sportster V32/V34 bis modem card. A 256 MB CompactFlash Card in CF-to-PCMCIA Type 1 adaper. A generic 11b wireless card.

Even the term PCMCIA has been relegated to history, first by being renamed as PC Card and then by being superseded by ExpressCard. But what happened to Xircom and US Robotics? The former was bought by Intel in 2001 though products were sold under the Xircom brand until 2005. USRobotics merged with 3Com in 1997 before being spun out again in 2000. It was later acquired by a private equity firm in 2005 and it’s still in existence, focusing entirely on modems.

So many companies and products have fallen by the wayside; Ad Lib sound cards; 3dfx graphics card; Hayes modems; Conner hard drives; Handspring PDAs. The list is long and illustrious. Some merged, some were bought out, some failed to compete and died. Others are still with us and it’s market forces and competition in action. Technology changes too and hot products become obsolete. Internal modems are no longer needed as we’ve all got ADSL and cable broadband wireless routers.

As I look round my office, I wonder how many of the names and products I currently see will still be here in 10 years’ time? Samsung…Dell…HP…Yamaha…Sony…Plantronics…Toshiba…Sun (already part of Oracle)…Logitech…Microsoft…AMD…Maxtor (now Seagate as well). I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

HP Dreams in Colour With New EliteBooks

HP today refreshed the EliteBook w-series line-up with three new models, the 8760w, 8560w and 8460w. Built on HP’s “FORGE” design framework that’s been seen before on the P-Series, these are industrially-designed with a brushed gunmental finish, strengthened glass touchpad and HP DisplaySafe frame. The laptops meet the MIL-SD 810G military standard for toughness meaning that these laptops should stand up to the rigours of business use.

Under the keyboard, it’s Intel’s Core i7 and i5 processors in dual and quad-core variants. The 8760w is HP’s most powerful laptop with a 17.3″ screen driven by either AMD FirePro or nVidia Quadro graphics kitted out with up to 4 GB of video memory. There’s the option of  three hard drives with RAID 5 support, another first for HP laptops, or “mobile workstations” as they seem to be called now.

The 8560w is the middle member of the family with a 15.6″ high definition screen, again driven by AMD FirePro or nVidia Quadro graphics, though this time the video memory is restricted to 1 GB and 2 GB respectively.

Finally, the little sister is the EliteBook 8460w, HP’s smallest and lightest mobile workstation at only 2.2 kg (4.9 lb). Sporting a 14″ high definition screen with a 1 GB AMD FirePro, it offers performance video in a “road-warrior” package.

Both the 8760w and 8560w EliteBooks offer HP DreamColor as an option. Developed in conjunction with DreamWorks Animation, DreamColor displays are professional colour managed displays using true 30-bit colour, providing over 1 billion possible colours and a very wide colour gamut. Nice.

All the laptops will be available in the US in May and will be priced from $1899, $1349 and $1299 for the 8760w, 8560w and 8460w respectively.

DLNA For The iPad And More

Jeffrey stops by the DLNA booth, but before we get to that, if you want to understand what DLNA is, the we recommend you visit their Wikipedia page.  They are showing off some cool devices with that act as DLNA servers, such a home media server, Droid X, laptops, TV’s, Blu-ray players, and an iPad.  Their new iPad app allows user to stream content from a server or upload content to a server.  With over 200 companies manufacturing DLNA-compatibles devices (and more coming) it could become the defacto standard for media content.  For more information you can visit the DLNA website.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast.

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