News Bits: HP Completes VoodooPC Buyout, Hitach to Introduce 250GB Notebook HD, Logitech Alto Notebook Stand

News Bits: HP Completes VoodooPC Buyout, Hitach to Introduce 250GB Notebook HD, Logitech Alto Notebook Stand

HP completes purchase of VoodooPC

31st– HP announced it had completed its acquisition of high-end gaming PC maker VoodooPC. HP did not disclose how much it paid for VoodooPC.

Under the deal, VoodooPC’s co-owners Rahul and Ravi Sood will become chief technologist of HP’s gaming unit and director of marketing and strategy for gaming respectively. HP’s acquisition of VoodooPC places them in direct competition with Dell on another front.

Executive vice president of HP’s personal systems group, Todd Bradley, said in a release:

Combining VoodooPC’s passion and expertise in the gaming world with HP’s R&D and marketing infrastructure positions HP to play a leadership role in all aspects of gaming,

HP said it plans to keep Voodoo’s distribution model and its marketing, sales, support, and developement operations. PCs will remain on sale on VoodooPC’s website.

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Hitachi to introduce 200GB, 250GB notebook hard drives

1st– Hitachi today said it plans to have a 2.5″, 200GB 7,200RPM hard drive available in the first half of 2007. The company also said it would introduce a 2.5″ drive with a capacity “in the quarter-terabyte range” and a 5,400RPM rotational speed for the second half of 2007.

Both new hard drives use PMR technology and build upon the company’s first successful PMR drive, the 5K160. The new drives provide hard-drive-level data encryption as a feature for added security.

Chief marketing officer of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Shinjiro Iwata, said in a statement:

The Travelstar products we have planned for 2007 give insight to what Hitachi believes are important to end-users in a mobile storage product: ample capacity for video and other rich content, superior performance and reliability, and greater confidence in the safety of their data as users are increasingly on the move. The 2.5-inch hard drive segment represents Hitachi’s flagship product line, and we’re working to ensure that Hitachi continues to set the pace of technology advancement for this category.

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Hitach expects to ship 4 million perpendicular recording hard drives by year end

1st– Hitachi today announced that it has shipped its one millionth Perpendicular Recording (PMR) hard drive after only six months of regular production. Hitachi expects to ship in excess of four million PMR hard drives by year end thanks to strong customer demand.

Hitachi began manufacturing PMR drives in of this year with its TravelStar 5K160 2.5″ drive. PMR production will represent approximately 35 percent of Hitachi’s Q4 hard drive output. The company expects to fully transition its 2.5″ hard drive line to PMR by the end of 2007.

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Microsoft Windows Vista, Office 2007 packaging unveiled

Microsoft has revealed new designs for the packaging of its top-end products, Windows Vista Ultimate and Office Professional 2007.

The packages are made out of plastic, and designed for long-term storage and protection of the software. Windows Vista is slated to be released in 2007, and Office 2007 is expected to ship sometime after.

Other images of packaging for regular editions of the software can be found here.

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Logitech introduces Alto notebook stand with integrated keyboard

1st– Logitech today introduced the Logitech Alto, a one-piece notebook stand with a full-size integrated keyboard.

A typical notebook computer sacrifices comfort for a compact form factor, and often has a cramped keyboard with a non-conventional key layout, in addition to a low-lying screen. The Logitech Alto addresses these issues with an all-in-one solution, with a full-sized keyboard and an angled platform for a notebook PC. The full-sized keyboard includes a standard key layout, number pad, and media panel, and the laptop platform raises the monitor to eye level.

According to Logitech, the Alto takes less than 30 seconds to setup – only one USB cable needs to be connected from the Alto to the notebook. When not in use, the Alto folds away, and is reduced in size to 9.33-by-16.84-by-1.41 inches (23.7-by-42.8-by-3.6 cm).

The Alto is compatible with many notebook PC brands, and will work with the vast majority of Windows-based notebook PCs on the market. Its hinge is designed to support notebooks with a weight of up to 9 lbs.

Availability of the Logitech Alto is expected in Europe at the beginning of , and in the U.S., the beginning of . The MSRP is $99.99USD.

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Panasonic Toughbook CF-74 to feature built-in 3G support

31st– Panasonic and Cingular Wireless today announced that the semi-rugged Toughbook CF-74 notebook now features built-in support for 3G UMTS/HSDPA BroadbandConnect Service from Cingular using Novatel Wireless Embedded Module. Panasonic has now reached Cingular Master Dealer status, enabling Panasonic to directly sell and activate Cingular Wireless services for Panasonic Toughbook preferred channel partners.

Users of Cingular-enabled Panasonic Toughbooks will have the option for Cingular-powered mobile broadband access in over 115 markets in over 50 metropolitan areas, in addition to EDGE wireless data network coverage in 13,000 additional cities across the country outside of those areas.

Average download rates using the Cingular BroadbandConnect service ranges from 400-700kbps, with bursts in excess of 1Mbps. Average download rates of Cingular’s EDGE service range up to 135Kbps.

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Quanta confirms test production of OLPC notebook

31st– Quanta Computer today confirmed that sample production and test runs of the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) have already started this quarter. Quanta has slated mass production to begin in Q2 2007.

Five nations have confirmed their orders for the notebooks – Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria, and Thailand. Each country has ordered about one million units. OLPC shipments during the first year will reach between 5 and 10 million units, which will most likely pick up at the end of 2007.

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