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October 16, 2012

Microsoft Surface RT Tablet now available for pre-order at the Microsoft Store


Surface-Windows-RT

The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT is now available at the Microsoft Store for preorder with delivery by 10/26. The pricing was announced to be competitive with the Apple iPad:

And note, if you want a different color Touch Cover that will be extra.

Unclear on the difference between the Touch Cover and the Type Cover? Here’s the skinny:

As far as the other specs, hit the link above for the full details, but here’s a brief summary:

It will be interesting to see how well Microsoft can play in the tablet hardware game on it own versus Apple. Reportedly they have placed orders for 3-5 million during the 4th quarter.


Posted at 3:18 pm. Filed under Companies, Microsoft, Notebook, Surface, Tablet PC

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July 16, 2008

Can you still you buy a new PC with Windows XP preinstalled?


Windows-XP Yes, you can still buy a new PC with Windows XP installed on it. Windows XP ceased to be available at retail on June 30, 2008 but there are a number of exceptions. The relevant exception for a consumer or a small business owner is that "OEMs can downgrade Vista Business or Vista Ultimate licenses to Windows XP Professional or Tablet PC versions for customers indefinitely," where OEMs are the large PC manufacturers.

However, there’s a difference between "can" and "will" or "will with no hassle" so Christopher Null at PC World tried to purchase a PC with XP from Dell, HP, Gateway, Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu, Lenovo, and Asus and reports on the very mixed results. Hit the article for the full details on each, but the best bets for an machine with XP preinstalled are:

Consumer PC: Toshiba, Fujitsu, Lenovo

Business PC: HP, Fujitsu, Lenovo

If you are willing to pay extra or install XP from a CD, the choices are even more numerous. Also Asus has its line of Eee ultra low-cost PCs (ULPC) which come with XP under a different exemption in the rules.


Posted at 11:33 am. Filed under Acer, ASUS, Companies, Dell, Desktop PC, Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, Laptop, Lenovo, Notebook, Tablet PC, Toshiba, Windows XP

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June 28, 2006

Flash disks starting to replace hard disks


Solid state, non volatile disk storage replacement has been a dream for a lot of years and while flash disks are finally killing the floppy, advances in hard disk technology have always kept the price per byte low enough that solid state didn’t have much leverage except for special use devices. That may be starting to change as laptop manufacturers have started introducing new models with flash disks instead of hard drives in some notebook models. Martyn Williams at PCWorld:

Sony will replace hard disks with flash memory when it launches a new model of its Vaio U laptop next week, it said today (June 27 – ed.).

Flash has long been eyed as a potential replacement for hard drives because it is lighter, runs silently, offers faster data access, and uses less power, but price has always been an obstacle.

The Vaio UX90 will come with 16GB of flash memory storage in place of the 30GB hard drive on the original model. It will cost around $1805, or about $345 more expensive than the disk-based model, and go on sale in Japan on July 3.

The UX Micro PCs look like a PDA on steroids, but they run Widows XP Professional and regular Windows applications as well as having some media player functionality.

Samsung Electronics launched a couple of PCs with flash storage earlier this month. The Q30 laptop and Q1 ultra mobile PC both use Samsung’s “solid state disk,” which packs 32GB of NAND flash memory into a case the same size as a 1.8-inch hard drive.

The Q1 is Samsung’s entry in the oddball Origami (AKA UMPC) tablet PC form factor developed by Microsoft and Intel, while the Q30-SSD (Solid State Drive) is a regular laptop:

Sammy just announced that their sweet, sweet NAND-based Q30-SSD we first got down and dirty with at CeBIT will hit the shelves in Korea (only) from early June onward. Yeah, it’ll fetch a steep $3,700 US-equiv (a roughly $900 premium) on that aging 1.2GHz Celeron M Q30 platform, but that 32GB of NAND reads 300 percent faster (53MB/s) and write 150 percent quicker (28MB/s) than normal hard drives while offering better protection against shock, 25-50% faster boots and sleep recovery times, longer battery life and reduced weight all in a completely silent, fanless package. Hoozah!

To which, I guess I have to add, ouch! The prices still have a way to go to attract the average consumer. More on Samsung’s solid state hard drive here.


Posted at 12:00 pm. Filed under Companies, Flash Drive, Hard Disks, Intel, Laptop, Microsoft, Notebook, Samsung, Solid State Drive, Sony, Storage, Tablet PC

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