Research in Motion (RIM) has released another video for the upcoming BlackBerry 6 operating system. The video clearly displays a touch interface, something which we saw for the first time in April 2010 when the company showed initial glimpses of the new platform at its annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium conference in Florida. I spoke to the company’s CTO David Yach about the interface and he confirmed that touch was a big part of it, but wouldn’t be cornered on what was planned from a hardware perspective. Rumours abound of an announcement of a new device to supersede the Storm platform forthcoming from RIM in the next couple of months. BlackBerry 6 will also be compatible with most of the brand’s current models.
Rugged, professional, versatile - the new HP EliteBook mobile workstations.
24 of June 2011
The new HP EliteBook 8560w and 8760w machines, now available from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC), are HP's most powerful mobile workstations yet. These top of the line notebooks offer high-performing professional graphics, extreme processing power, and a sleek, chiselled design that takes any executive from the office to the boardroom and beyond.
With sizing available in 15.6" (8560w) or 17" (8760w), high definition anti-glare LED screens, a host of innovations aimed at the business professional, and features designed for extreme ruggedness and durability, the EliteBook series is ideal for corporate, creatives and programmers who need to be able to work on the move without worrying about damaging their computer.
"These machines are incredibly hard wearing and built to take serious knocks. They are spill proof, scratch and drop resistant, and even comply with US government regulations for military grade machines," says Deon Botha, HP PSG Business Unit Manager at DCC.
These EliteBook models feature the latest generation of Intel Core i processors, four memory module slots for a maximum of 32GB memory on top end models as well as Solid State Drive options to ensure stability even if the machines are shaken or dropped. Also available are NVIDIA and ATI 2GB dedicated graphics options with Blu-Ray optical drives. They are also spill resistant thanks to clever drainage holes on the device, and temperature, dust, altitude and humidity resistant, built to work perfectly in even the most inclement climate. These features combined with superior good looks and a stylish gunmetal-coloured brushed aluminium finish ensure the notebooks are at home in any environment and have the performance to match.
"The EliteBook Workstation range sees a total redesign with these two tough, business ready models. They incorporate the latest technology and processing power, large hard drives and high amounts of RAM, and thanks to the rugged design, the ROI on the devices is excellent, since the machines will survive heavy day to day use and abuse. This means that investments can be stretched beyond the usual cycle and usability remains of a high standard," says Botha.
These mobile workstations can also run up to five independent displays when combined with advanced docking solutions and with SRS Premium Sound they deliver on audio quality, perfect for multimedia presentations. A portfolio of security tools comes standard with the machines to protect the EliteBooks from the many threats associated with computing in the modern world.
The HP EliteBook 8560w and 8760w are available immediately from DCC.
New 9.5 mm Western Digital Scorpio Blue Mobile Drive Offers Largest Capacity Available for Portable Computing
6 September 2011
The quest for a slimmer, smaller footprint is noticeably evident in the IT industry and distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) is meeting this demand with the introduction of its latest release, the WD Scorpio Blue 9.5 mm, 2.5-inch mobile hard drive with 1 TB capacity.
Designed for mainstream notebook computers, the new WD Scorpio Blue 1 TB hard drive utilises 500 GB-per-platter areal density and is now available in the highest capacity for 2.5-inch hard drives in the industry-standard 9.5 mm, two-platter (2-disk) form factor.
WD Scorpio Blue mobile hard drives are designed with ruggedness, reliability and data-protection features that actively watch over valuable data. The WD Scorpio Blue 1 TB mobile hard drive also achieves excellent power and performance, making it an ideal solution for notebook computers and other portable devices that require extended battery life and cool, ultra-quiet operation.
"With the release of the 1 TB WD Scorpio Blue notebook drive in a 9.5 mm package, WD is able to offer the greatest storage capacity available for use in portable computing environments," says said Matt Rutledge, vice president and general manager of Client Storage for WD."Mobile users no longer need to choose maximum capacity over thin and light, WD is ready with storage options, achieved without compromise to performance and reliability that prove ideal for mobile digital devices of all kinds including PC and Mac notebook computers; external storage; and digital media players."
Says Robert Smyth, WD product specialist at DCC, "Digital content is increasing exponentially, further requiring external storage for photos, movies and music.This product is ideal for the local market as users including business and consumer, are increasingly looking towards mobility, providing convenience without the addition weight of large, bulky products."
WD Scorpio Blue Features:
Low power consumption - Advanced power management features and algorithms optimise the way the drive seeks for data, which significantly improves powerconsumption.
Cool and quiet - In a notebook drive, silence is golden. WD's exclusive WhisperDrive technology yields one of the quietest 2.5-inch hard drives on the market.
Reliable - WD's SecurePark parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down, and when the drive is off. This ensures the recordinghead never touches the disk surface resulting in improved long term reliability due to less head wear, and improved non-operational shock tolerance.
Shock Tolerant - WD's ShockGuard technology, now increased to a best-in-market 400Gs shock specification, protects the drive mechanics and platter surfacesfrom shocks.
Advanced Format (AF) - Technology being adopted by WD and other drive manufacturers to continue growing hard drive capacities. New drives featuring AF areoptimised for operation with the following operating system software: Windows 7, Windows Vista and Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard (PVT models only).
Tested for compatibility - WD performs tests on hundreds of systems and a multitude of platforms in its FIT Lab and Mobile Compatibility Lab to give customers confidence that drives will work in specific systems.
The WD Scorpio Blue 9.5 mm, 2.5-inch mobile hard drive with 1 TB capacity is available from resellers and various retail outlets.
By Deon Botha, HP Personal Systems Group and Magnetic Media Business Unit Manager at Drive Control Corporation
19 January 2012
The Mobile computing industry is constantly evolving and the latest trend to have an impact in this space has been the tablet PC. Made possible by the development of the Solid State Hard Drive (SSD), tablets are thinner, faster and more mobile than any computing device before them.
But this mobility comes at a cost - tablets tend towards limited functionality and many users still crave the full features of a notebook along with the portability and always on functionality of a tablet. This gives us a clear glimpse into the future of notebook development - a merger between the technology of the tablet and the features of a PC - delivering thinner, faster, more rugged notebooks incorporating the benefits of SSD.
The move towards the adoption of SSD, while slow to start with, has been driven by a number of factors and is set to accelerate in 2012. In the past SSDs have been seen as overly pricey for the notebook market, but as with any technology, as it matures and demand grows, prices begin to fall and the technology becomes more widely affordable.
While according to the technology curve SSDs will eventually become the norm, this transition has been hastened by natural global events, specifically the flooding in Thailand. Two of the largest original equipment manufacturers (OEM) of hard disk drives (HDD) are based in Thailand and the intense rain has caused their facilities to flood. While the rain has ceased, water damage caused by water running from the highlands to the lowlands, where the factories are, has hampered the fast recovery and ramp up of production in cleanrooms necessary to build traditional platter based hard drives.
The result of this is a worldwide shortage of hard drives, since supply is unable to keep up with demand the impact of which is likely to be felt long into 2012. SSDs aren't widely utilised in all mobile platforms and many of the suppliers have not been affected by the flooding, since their factories are located elsewhere. As a result, notebooks ordered with a normal HDD will be subject to possible shipping delays and possibly swapping out on specs due to availability, whereas notebooks with SSDs will ship immediately, incentivising individuals to make the move to solid state and in turn experiencing the increased performance from this technology.
This increased demand for SSD goes hand in hand with the increasing trend towards greater mobility, thinner, lighter devices with faster boot times and more power. We can expect to see computer design, specifically with regard to notebooks, moving towards thin, lightweight and highly portable devices that boot up in seconds, thanks to SSDs. We can also expect to see Intel's Ivy Bridge, with abundant processing power early this year. There have also been rumours of massive advances in operating system software from Microsoft with Windows 8, which we hope to see in the latter part of 2012.
Following an on-going trend of the past few years, the notebook of the future is set to deliver better specs for less money, with previously premium technology such as the SSD now becoming available to the mass market. RAM modules are increasing in size and in the next year we can expect 4GB and 8GB memory modules to become standard. Notebooks are also set to become increasingly cost effective and production efficient, driving down the cost for the consumer and making more computing power available per rand than ever before.
The year 2011 has been the year of the tablet, which has driven increased popularity for SSD, as well as greater development of miniaturised processors that deliver the same performance levels as their full sized counterparts. However tablets don't offer full functionality for arguably a hefty price. As a result, in 2012 we will see the emergence of small, thin form factor notebooks that deliver tabletesque convenience with full notebook features.
The future of the notebook is not only thinner, lighter and more power efficient than ever, the future is solid in the form of solid state drives that improve boot up, running and read/write speeds and enhance the portability and ruggedness of any mobile device.