News Bits: New ExpressCard Arrives, AMD Turion, Windows Longhorn, HP, Toshiba

News Bits: New ExpressCard Arrives, AMD Turion, Windows Longhorn, HP, Toshiba

ExpressCards to Replace Older PC Card Standard Next Week

Next week we will see a slew of notebooks released, some of these new notebooks will contain an ExpressCard slot for the latest PC Card expansion standard. The new ExpressCard slot will allow data transfer twice as fast as the current CardBus implementation found in all notebooks, and the ExpressCard slot will be smaller and cheaper for manufacturers to put in notebooks. Backers of the ExpressCard standard include Microsoft, Intel and Dell. The ExpressCard is designed to be the standard add-on card for the next 10-years, but initially there is a major lack of actual cards that can be used to plug into this new ExpressCard slot. Most likely we will see manufacturers come out with TV tuners, add-on memory cards and wi-fi cards that are compatible with the ExpressCard standard very soon.

The new ExpressCard standard will use an orange rabbit as its symbol — cute

An orange rabbit will be the symbol for the ExpressCard, so look for that on packaging of laptops and accessories to indicate that they are ExpressCard compatible.

ExpressCard slot with card being inserted

ExpressCard is designed to be compatible with two data-transport technologies–universal serial bus (USB) and PCI Express, an emerging conduit for video cards and networking.


Upcoming AMD Turion Processor to Compete with Intel Pentium M

To date AMD has been a player in the notebook market mainly with its high performance chips, such as the AMD Athlon 64 line of chips that is featured in such notebooks as the Acer Ferrari 3400. However, AMD knows it needs a power efficient performance processor to compete with the highly successful Intel Pentium M processor, and so they will be releasing a processor dubbed Turion in the first-half of 2005. AMD has not released any technical specs for this upcoming processor, but they have said it will be geared towards thin-and-light laptops and be optimized for extending battery power.

In case anyone was wondering, a Turion is a vegetative dormant organ produced by perennial acquatic plants, formed in subtropical to polar zones as a response to unfavorable ecological conditions. What do carnivorous plants have to do with processors? Nothing.

Thankfully, the upcoming AMD Turion mobile processor for notebooks will not look like or have any relation to the Turion plants pictured above

More on AMD Turion: part=rss&tag=feed&subj=tr

More on Turion Plants:

Longhorn to Possibly Combine Tablet PC and Media Center Features

The next release of Windows from Microsoft is code-named Longhorn and due for release in 2006. Whether it will be called Windows 2006 or something else is still not determined, but Microsoft has confirmed that it will still use Windows in the name. Microsoft has also confirmed that they will drop the Home and Pro tags from the OS title. Customers often get confused with the difference between XP Home and XP Pro so a different approach will be taken in selling this OS, although they will still sell an OS specifically meant for business and one for consumers.

Interestingly, it seems Microsoft might stop differentiating its Media Center Edition OS and Tablet PC OS and simply combine all the features into one OS with the release of Longhorn. Customers might be able to choose which features they want installed, so if for instance your computer does not have Tablet capabilities, you would not install the Tablet portion of the OS. If however you had a high-end laptop that converted to a Tablet, you could install the Tablet portion and also install the Media Center portion so your notebook could work as both a Tablet and a hub for your media center. This seems like a smart move and one that will make customers happy, although you can bet that the OS will be huge if you were to install all aspects!

More will be learned about the Longhorn OS at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference.

Screen shots of Microsoft Longhorn OS (view larger image)


New HP Notebooks Announced

HP ze2000

Compaq M2000

Compaq X6000

HP has announced three new notebooks this week, two are budget style laptops and the third is a desktop replacement. The Compaq X6000 is the latest 17″ screen desktop replacment notebook for the Compaq brand and the Compaq M2000 is a new budget notebook release featuring a 15″ screen. The Compaq M2000 will likely replace the existing Compaq 2200 notebook line. HP has also released the HP ze2000 with a 15″ screen and starting price of $699 after rebates. Both the Compaq M2000 and HP ze2000 can be configured with a Celeron M or Pentium M processor while the Compaq X6000 comes with a Pentium 4 processor.

New HP Notebook Specs sheets / Large Image:

Compaq X6000 /

Compaq M2000 /

HP ze2000 /

New Toshiba Satellite M45 with New Intel Pentium M Chip Available at BestBuy

The Toshiba Satellite M45 with the Pentium M Alviso chipset is available on and at local BestBuy stores now. The Toshiba Satellite M45 is the first laptop from a major manufacturer to actually show up for sale.

Toshiba Satellite M45 Specs:

  • Intel Centrino mobile technology with interrelated Intel Pentium M processor 740, Intel 915GM express chipset, Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG network connection (802.11b/g) and extended battery life capability
  • 512MB PC2700 DDR SDRAM for multitasking power, expandable to 2.0GB; 533MHz frontside bus, 2MB L2 cache and 1.73GHz processor speed
  • Multiformat DVD RW/CD-RW drive with DVD-RAM support
  • 15.4″ TFT active-matrix widescreen display with TruBrite technology and 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 100.0GB EIDE hard drive (4200 rpm)
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 with 64MB-128MB shared video memory; internal Harman/Kardon stereo speakers; S-video TV-out
  • Dedicated CD control buttons include play/pause, stop, skip forward, skip back and Express Media Player
  • Bridge media adapter supports Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, SmartMedia and xD-Picture Card
  • 3 high-speed USB 2.0 ports and 1 i.LINK (IEEE 1394) interface and for fast digital video, audio and data transfer
  • Marvel 10Base-T/100Base-TX Ethernet LAN with RJ-45 connector; V.92 high-speed modem
  • Weighs 6.2 lbs. and measures 1.7″ thin for easy portability; lithium-ion battery and AC adapter
  • Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2) operating system preinstalled; software package included with InterVideo WinDVD 5, Sonic RecordNow! and more

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