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Rediff.com  » Getahead » PIX: World's thinnest 15-inch laptop, Dell XPS 15z and more

PIX: World's thinnest 15-inch laptop, Dell XPS 15z and more

Last updated on: June 4, 2011 09:09 IST

PIX: World's thinnest 15-inch laptop, Dell XPS 15z and more

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Team Digit

Here's a quick round up of the latest and hottest happenings in the world of gadgets and gaming this week.

Dell has launched the XPS 15z, supposedly the thinnest 15-inch laptop on the planet -- measuring 0.97-inches at its thickest point. The all-aluminium and magnesium alloy XPS 15z has only been launched in US so far, but is expected in India soon.

Starting from $999 on the Dell US site, it should be around Rs 50,000 when it lands in India, a whole lot lower than its slightly more powerful aesthetic inspiration -- the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The laptop is first in line of the rugged slim 'z' series of Inspiron and XPS laptops.

Shipping with Windows 7 Home Premium on board, the Dell XPS 15z can be purchased with an optional 15.6-inch full HD (1920x1080) monitor instead of its regular 1366x768 one. Configuration options include an Intel i5 2410M 2.3 GHz or i7 2620M 2.7 GHz dual core processor, 6 to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 750GB of HDD space, and 1GB or 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 525M graphics. Battery life is rated at more than 8 hours, with its standard 8-cell battery pack.

Other features include a gesture optimised multi-touchpad, Intel Wi-Di, Bluetooth 3.0, a backlit spill-resistant keyboard, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 9-in-1 card reader, HDMI 1.4 and Mini DisplayPort, a DVD writer, an integrated 1.3MP webcam, coupled with dual-array digital microphones and stereo speakers. Nvidia Optimus graphic switching technology is also onboard, for improved battery performance.


Image: Dell XPS 15z

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Viewsonic's first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet: ViewPad 7x

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Looks like Viewsonic is getting ahead, announcing that they'd be the first to release a Honeycomb tablet in the smaller, 7-inch form factor, with the Viewsonic ViewPad 7x. Boasting of a 1024x600 resolutions screen, the Honeycomb tablet will once again be Tegra 2 powered, and weigh just 380 grams.

Viewsonic has also managed to squeeze in HDMI and 3G (HSPA+) connectivity.

We wonder which will end up releasing first, the 7-inch Asus Eee Pad MeMO, or the Viewsonic ViewPad 7x -- the race is on for the world's first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet, with out without HSPA+. The tablet is expected to ship with Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb onboard, though a 3.1 update seems likely.

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Image: ViewPad 7x

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First glimpse of the Asus Padfone

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The ASUS Padfone is a device that explores one possible convergence between two popular mobile devices -- the smartphone and tablet. The Padfone solves the problem of data transfer hassles and multiple SIM cards when both a smartphone and 3G tablet are used.

With the Padfone, the smartphone docks inside the tablet to give users an expanded view to suit their tasks.

With the phone docked, it can recharge from the tablet's larger battery and the tablet can also make use of the smartphone's 3G internet connection. The dual interfaces for both the pad and phone ensure an enhanced user experience as the layout is automatically adjusted for all activities such as video conferencing, web browsing and emailing.

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Image: Asus Padfone

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HTC Wildfire S available for pre-order in India, starting Rs 13,999

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LetsBuy, Flipkart, and Indiaplaza, have brought the HTC Wildfire S to India ahead of an official launch, announcing its pre-order availability today. Priced at Rs 13,999 on Letsbuy.com, the Wildfire S replaces the original Wildfire as HTC's most inexpensive Android phone, and comes pre-loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread onboard. LetsBuy says it can deliver the phone within 4-7 days of booking.

The HTC Wildfire S is a low-end 3G-enabled device (HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 384Kbps) with some pretty decent specs, certainly better than the original Wildfire, with a 3.2-inch Gorilla Glass covered touchscreen with a 320x480 resolution, a 600MHz processor, a 5MP camera with LED flash, 512MB of RAM and ROM, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR, as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and hotspot connectivity.

The Wildfire S looks very similar to its predecessor, and has the following dimensions -- 101.3 x 59.4 x 12.4 mm. It weighs 105 grams, and has 1230 mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 7 hours of talk time, and 360 hours of standby time, in 2G mode. It is available in four colours, black, brown, lilac, and silver.

The phone should be officially announced by HTC for India sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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Image: HTC Wildfire S

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Micromax's Bling 2: Android Froyo fashion phone for Rs 8,999

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After the success of the Bling and the Andro A60, Micromax has now launched Bling 2 (A55), a low-cost Android 2.2 Froyo phone with styling of its predecessor. Priced at Rs 8,999 (market operating price), Micromax's curvaceous Bling 2 is meant to be a fashion accessory for the fairer sex, apart from being a phone.

It bears a shiny Swarovski Zirconia body and gems around the home button as well as the camera. It also comes with a white leather carry case that houses a compact mirror and pouch for your lip gloss!

Micromax has bundled some apps with the device as well, hoping to make the Bling-2 more attractive for the modern woman.

These include MiRoamer for radio, Mosho for shopping, Mundu for live TV, Saavn for music on demand, and Whatsapp for IM. Micromax has not scrounged on the hardware side, where for the price and fashion styling, you also get a 600MHz processor, 3G (WCDMA) connectivity, a 7.1cm capacitive touchscreen, a 3MP camera, Wi-Fi/GPS/Bluetooth, connectivity, expandable storage up to 32GB via microSD, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

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Image: Micromax Bling 2

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Microsoft Windows 8: What's been officially revealed so far, detailed

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Microsoft debuted Windows 8 at the D9 conference, as well as at a separate preview event at Computex 2011. A lot of details poured in, and we've sifted through the lot, and laid the tastiest nuggets about the platform-spanning operating system out for you below. Also check out the must see preview video, further ahead:

  • The next version of Windows is being called Windows 8 internally at Microsoft, and will work on both x86 and ARM platforms
  • There won't be multiple versions of Windows, just one version of Windows running on a variety of hardware platforms and devices/form factors. It therefore has to be light, efficient and modular
  • It is designed to be used either by touch, keyboard and mouse, or all three
  • The same applications and programmes will work on both x86 and ARM-based devices, completely cross-platform, as they will be based on the Windows 8 application development platform
  • Apps and programmes will be designed for work in one of two environments
  • The traditional Windows 7 UI we are all comfortable with
  • A tile-based Metro UI-styled Start screen with Live Tile apps and feeds, based on HTML5, JavaScript and CSS
  • Apps in this environment will be 'chrome-less', expanding to full screen
  • Has a similar taskbar to regular Windows 7 UI, auto-hidden in a corner
  • Apps can be switched simply by swiping
  • All files on the entire system can be accessed from either UI. All programs can be launched in either UI
  • Both application environments have been optimized for both touch as well as non-touch input configurations
  • Legacy apps meant for previous versions of Windows will be supported
  • User can switch between environments instantly, as well as have a Aero Snap enabled split-screen interface, with Win 7 UI and Metro UI side by side, and the ability to snap and resize all types of apps to best utilise the multi-tasking ability
  • The 'full screen experience' is designed for 16:9 widescreens, with a recommended minimum 1366x768 resolution for the best Windows 8 experience. 1024 x 768 is the absolute minimum for both Tile UI nd Win 7 UI to run, while 1024 x 600 is the minimum for just Win 7 UI
  • New Internet Explorer 10, again optimized for touch with a new ribbon interface
  • Built in Windows App Store
  • 'Always on, always connected' mode for ARM devices, for instant wake-up from sleep, and apps that are constantly connected to the web
  • Great battery life for portable devices
  • UEFI-style BIOS for ultra-fast boot times.
  • Support for a whole range of new sensors (especially relevant for tablets)
  • Will also feature OEM Activation 3.0, helping both end users and hardware partners

Will come out in 2012

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Image: Microsoft Windows 8

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ViewSonic's ViewPad 10Pro

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Viewsonic is launching a refresh to its ViewPad 10, called the ViewPad 10Pro. Boasting of the ability to dual-boot Windows 7 Pro and Android, the tablet actually will use Bluestacks virtualisation to run Android apps on Windows 7 -- while this maybe better than dual-booting in a way, it is not dual-booting, and can suffer from lowered performance, battery life issues, etc. We'll have to wait and see how Viewsonic ends up implementing it.

The device will apparently be the first of the many tablets supposed to be powered by Intel's new Oak Trail mobile processors (in this case, the Z670 1.5GHz) this year. It will sport Windows 7 Pro, and Android 2.2 virtualised, but hopefully, Honeycomb will be offered instead, though we wonder if Google will be especially appreciative.

Other features include a 3G radio, and 32GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded a great deal more with microSD card, or USB drives. It sports a 3500mAh battery, which is promised to deliver up to 4.5 hours of 1080p video playback via HDMI.

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro

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