Friday, November 25, 2011

China Overtakes US in Smartphone Shipments

With China contributing such a huge chunk of the world’s human population and being the world’s largest cellphone market, it should not surprise anyone that it’s said to have overtaken the United States in smartphone shipments during the third quarter. According to research firm Strategy Analytics’ latest research, China is now the world’s largest smartphone market in terms of total shipments. Hit the jump for more.

“Smartphone shipments grew 58 percent sequentially to reach a record 23.9 million units in China during Q3 2011. In contrast, smartphone shipments fell 7 percent sequentially to reach 23.3 million units in the United States. China has overtaken the United States for the first time to become the world’s largest smartphone market by volume,” said Linda Sui, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

How will the disk shortage affect you?

Summary: Massive flooding has shut down disk giant Western Digital’s Thai plant. Asustek could run out of disks by the end of this month; Lenovo and Apple have issued warnings. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We heard a similar story with the Japan earthquake/tsunami/meltdown disaster: plants offline; component shortages; widespread disruptions forecast. But somehow things have kept going for most vendors with the exception of Lexus, Toyota and Honda.

What’s real
There’s 4 feet of water in the WD plant. Even after the flood waters recede a substantial clean up is required: one analyst forecast 56 days of downtime.

That plant produces about half of WDs disks. WD produces about half of the world’s disks, so worst case we’re looking at a 25-30% reduction in global disk supply over the next 2-3 months.

Global production is ≈50 million drives a month, so the shortfall could be 30-50 million drives. Yeah, that would hurt.

Disk component suppliers have also been affected, but there’s less visibility into their condition. Worst-case so far: the vendor who makes most of the world’s spindle motors has a flooded plant.

But shortages of other critical components are possible, and could affect all vendors, not just WD. OTOH, other plants could ramp up to fill the void - and it would be in their financial interest to do so.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HP unveils its first business ultrabook

The new ultrabook and other products come shortly after the company decided not to sell its PC business

IDG News Service - Hewlett-Packard introduced Wednesday its first business ultrabook, offering nine hours of battery life, a solid-state drive, and a security chip that protects data in email and information on the hard drive.

The roll out by HP comes less than a month after the company said that its Personal Systems Group (PSG), which deals in PCs, smartphones and tablets, will stay with the company. HP had earlier talked about evaluating options for this business.

The company also expanded Wednesday its ultraportable consumer notebook PC line with the HP Pavilion dm4, including a Beats Edition. Beats Audio technology was developed by HP in collaboration with artist and producer Dr. Dre, and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine, the company said.

HP also introduced Envy 15, Envy 17, and Envy 17 3D notebooks, which will be available in the U.S. on Dec. 7, besides two wireless accessories.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Top 10 Best Laptops

Do you want to buy a laptop, but are daunted by the sheer number of choices out there? We winnow down your options to the top 10 best laptops available today.

Shopping for a laptop these days is a pretty daunting task. The sheer number of laptops available online or in a store's electronics section is enough to make your mind spin. Most people have a general idea of what their laptop should look like and what they want in terms of features, but are often intimidated by the choices available. That's where we come in.

The editors of test hundreds of systems each year to help you find the best laptop. There are a lot of laptops out there, from the large-screen desktop replacements to the lightweight ultraportables, and even netbooks, but all share common features. In this story, we help you narrow your choices by collecting the top 10 laptops on the market today.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

How Windows 8 Will Deal With Tons of CPU Cores

Windows 8 will be more hard"core" with multiple cores.

The growth in processing power hasn't come so much from ramping up the clock frequency, but rather in adding more cores and increasing efficiency.

With growing core counts and technologies such as HyperThreading, Windows' task manager needed to evolve in order to accommodate future hardware. The good news is that a revised Task Manager will be a part of Windows 8. Microsoft's Ryan Haveson, a group program manager on the User Experience team, last month gave a preview of what the Task Manager would look like when dealing with a ton of logical cores.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Seagate kills 5400 rpm desktop drives, all Barracudas now 7200 rpm

Computerworld - Seagate today announced that it's bumping the platter rotation speed in all of its flagship Barracuda desktop hard drives from 5400 rpm to 7200 rpm.

The move to 7200 rpm across the board for Barracudas also means that Seagate is the first company to offer a 1TB of capacity at that drive rotation speed.

The move away from 5400 rpm drives is based on the advent of a new read/write head technology that has allowed Seagate to squeeze more data onto a drive platter and still be able to read it.

In another development, Seagate said it will be converting its line of Barracuda XT 3.5-in. hard drives to a hybrid drive technology by adding NAND flash to the drives as a type of inexpensive cache. The most frequently used data is kept on the NAND flash board to increase performance.

Seagate already sells hybrid drives under its Momentus XT line, which has up to 500GB capacity. The Barracuda XT lineup includes models that have as much as 3TB of capacity. Seagate would not specify a date for the launch of the new Barracuda XT hybrid drives, saying only that its disclosure of the new line is to demonstrate it is committed to hybrid technology.

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