Are Google Smartbooks Coming in November?

It’s already November, but there’s still time for plenty of surprise launches before Christmas shopping hits us hard. I was surprised to learn that there may be a few smartbooks running Google’s Chrome OS coming soon. While netbooks were a big hit last year, smartbooks have been tried before and were not popular. Maybe their time is coming. Will we find out this month?

smartbook In case you didn’t know, a smartbook is barely big enough to support a full qwerty keyboard, and typically runs on ARM processors. The battery on one of these mini computers can last you all day.

According to an article at Digitimes:

Global brand vendors are expected to launch their new generation smartbooks featuring the Google Chrome operating system (OS) later this month (November), while Google also plans to launch its own-brand Chrome notebook with a similar strategy as its Nexus One smartphone, according to sources from component players.

The article mentions that Google is planning a November launch for a Chrome OS notebook, in addition to the rumored Chrome OS tablet. That sounds like a lot to deal with, and I wouldn’t be surprised if neither one of them make it to the market this year.

For those of you who are adventurous, curious and a little geeky, there are some Chrome OS builds by Hexxeh that can be booted from USB sticks. If you are only mildly curious, we have some Chrome OS screenshots and video for you.

Apple to Announce New 11.6 Inch Macbook Air on October 20

After cannibalizing netbook sales in the past two quarters with the iPad, Apple now seems to have gone on an offensive against netbooks again.

AppleInsider reports that the launch of a 11.6 inch Macbook Air is due next Wednesday. It is currently under production in Taiwan and will be unveiled at the “Back to the Mac” event on October 20.

Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, had earlier stated that Apple wouldn’t be making netbooks, but this does come quite close.

The design would be similar to the older Macbook Air and would be extremely slim. It would have a unibody enclosure and it will come with a new storage solution – an SSD card, a proprietary technology developed by Apple.

Watch out for more details on the 20th.

New Macbook Air by Apple

LG Stalls Tablet Launch; To Wait for Android 3.0 Gingerbread

Since the spectacular success of the Apple iPad, many manufacturers have been scurrying around, trying to ride the tablet wave. Many new tablets have been announced, most of them being powered by Android, Google’s open source mobile OS.

Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy Tab soon, in Europe and the US, and even RIM has announced the Playbook, the Blackberry tablet.

Besides that, there are countless other Android tablets by many manufacturers.

LG was earlier supposed to launch their own Android tablet by the end of 2010. It was supposed to run Android 2.2 Froyo, like the Galaxy Tab, which by Google’s own admission isn’t suited for the tablet form factor.

Apparently, LG is now delaying its tablet release and plans to ship the tablet with “the most suitable version of Android for their tablet”. Quite possibly, they have decided to wait it out until the release of Android 3.0 Gingerbread, which will be optimized for tablets.

The new tablet will probably be unveiled at CES 2011 in Las Vegas in January.

via Reuters

Microsoft To Unveil Windows Phone 7 on October 11

Microsoft is planning to officially unveil Windows Phone 7 on October 11. It has contacted major tech blogs and is hosting a press conference at 2 PM in London on October 11.

They haven’t specifically stated that they will be launching Windows Phone 7 at the press conference, but there isn’t any other major reason to call one.

The timeline matches up with the earlier rumors that Microsoft will launch Windows Phone 7 in October.

The US launch of Windows Phone 7 will reportedly happen on November 8.

Windows Phone 7

via Engadget

GOG.com Re-Launches with Hasbro in Tow.

Before you ask yes GOG.com’s apparent shutdown was a joke/PR stunt. They’re jerks, but they apologized well in robes, so we forgive them. End of discussion. They got what was due in the online press conference that they arranged and everyone eventually agreed that although it was a very stupid thing to do, we all love GOG.com too much to stay away from them.

gog

Now, onto fairly better news GOG.com is re-launching. They are finally out of their beta stage and have quite a few publishers signed up for the no-DRM, no-client digital distributor. The service has quite a few changes afoot with one of the greatest RPG games coming up on the site. As the PR email sent to gaming writers spoke:-

it’s [GOG.com] coming back even better and stronger than ever with great new features and huge new releases.

We know some of you might felt deceived by us playing jerks and the whole action and we sincerely apologize for this, as that was not our intention. Hopefully the new GOG.com and the upcoming releases from Hasbro will make it up for you. Yes, you read that well, we have Hasbro on board and our first release is Baldur’s Gate: The Original Saga with Tales of the Sword Coast expansion for only $9.99, DRM-free and with lots of free goodies.

The site currently hosts a countdown to the reopening which is scheduled to be at 5:30PM IST. Until then they have quite a few teaser videos on store along with a hilariously robed apology video:-

Motorola To Launch Android Tablet in Q1 2011

Motorola Android TabletMotorola is one of those companies which has been riding the Android wave and has successfully leveraged the power of Android to become a major player in the mobile smartphone market.

It has been one of the most loyal backers of Android, other than HTC and Samsung. Its latest launches – the Droid X and the Droid 2 have been hits and are selling quite well.

Now, the tablet fever has caught on with many manufacturers and scores of Android tablets are slated to launch by the end of 2010, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab and tablets by Viewsonic, Archos and Toshiba.

Motorola, however, has remained silent on this topic, it hasn’t formally announced yet that it’s working on any tablet. Other than the leaked Verizon roadmap for 2011, there has been no mention of any Motorola Android tablet in the press.

Yesterday, however, Motorola’s CEO, Sanjay Jha stated that Motorola plans to launch an Android based tablet by early 2011.

“Nearly everyone in this business is clicking on all cylinders.

I will only develop a tablet if it is sufficiently compelling. Hopefully, that is early next year.

I see the tablet market as an opportunity; no cannibalization with smartphones. iPad is more an extension of iPhone than a migration of a Macintosh. I think that is a natural expansion for us.

The convergence of mobility and computing is very important for us. There could be more form factors that are more smartphone-centric.” said Jha.

Google has officially stated that Android 2.2 Froyo isn’t optimized for the tablet form factor. Android 3.0 Gingerbread will be launched by the end of 2010, so we can expect the Motorola tablet to run it, instead of Froyo.

Source: Yahoo

Toshiba to launch Android Tablet in September

Toshiba Android TabletAndroid is definitely having a field day; after Samsung, Asus, Motorola, Lenovo and many others, details have leaked out today about a new Android tablet by Toshiba.

Digitimes has reported Toshiba will be launching its Android powered tablet in September or October 2010. It will be a 10 inch tablet powered by Android 2.2 and will have a Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. No other details about the Toshiba Android tablet were revealed.

The September – October timeframe is going to be packed with tablet launches from many manufacturers. We will see many new Android tablet launches. Even Verizon is planning to launch a Chrome OS tablet in November. The tablet explosion is just about to begin.

Motorola Droid 2 To Launch On August 12

The Motorola Droid 2 is the hottest thing on the internet right now. Nearly all the information is available about the device, except for its launch date. The Motorola Droid 2 is powered by a 1Ghz OMAP processor, and packs inDroid 2 512MB of RAM. The Droid 2 will be the successor to the original Droid. The original Droid was and still is one of the most popular Android phones in the market.

The Motorola Droid 2 features a 3.7-inch TFT LCD screen, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard as well. According to leaks, and mini-hands on review, the keyboard on the Droid 2 has been greatly improved as well. The keyboard also features 4 arrow keys, instead of a D-Pad found on the original Droid. The Droid 2 will be the first Android phone to hit the market with Android 2.2 (Froyo) on board. Rumours say that the Droid 2 is going to be launched on 12 August.

Now, BGR has received some information from one of their Best Buy sources that the Droid 2 release date is indeed pegged at 12th August. The only thing left is Motorola confirming this piece of news. The Droid 2 launch will be pretty quiet compared to the Droid X launch.

Tata Teleservices Launches Photon Wi-Fi Pocket Router

Tata Photon Wi-Fi RouterTata Teleservices Limited has announced the launch of the new Tata Photon Wi-Fi Router. It allows you to connect multiple devices to a single device and connect to the internet using Wi-Fi through a single internet connection. It offers broadband Internet access speeds up to 3.1 MBps.

The Tata Photon Wi-Fi Router also comes with a RJ45 Ethernet port which allows you to connect the device to your PC. You can instantly access your internet connection on your Wi-Fi enabled smartphone, laptop or tablet.

It will be available in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore at an introductory price of Rs. 4999.

TTSL has always believed in introducing innovative products and solutions in the telecom industry, with the objective continually upgrading the telecom experience of our subscribers. Our latest offering – Tata Photon Wi-Fi Pocket Router -reaffirms that commitment, making connectivity easy and relevant for a cross-section of user categories. This portable device marks a breakthrough in the Wi-Fi space and is yet another first-of-its-kind product in the country,he added.” said Mr. Anil Sardana, Managing Director of Tata Teleservices Limited.

Source: TTSL Press release

RIM Launches the Blackberry Torch 9800

Blackberry Torch 9800Research in Motion (RIM) has officially launched the Blackberry Torch 9800. Details of the new Blackberry Torch are now up on AT&T’s site. It will run on the new Blackberry 6 OS and offers some great hardware specifications.

It will have a 3.2 inch touchscreen display with a sliding QWERTY keypad. The display will have a resolution of 480 x 360 pixels. It will also have a new revamped web browser, presumably a Webkit based one. It will also integrate all major social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace and will offer the Blackberry Email service.

In terms of connectivity, it has almost everything you would need: GPRS, EDGE, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n etc. It will also have a 5 MP camera with autofocus and flash.

The Blackberry Torch will have 512 MB RAM and 4 GB flash memory. It will come with a 4 GB microSD card. It is powered by a 1300 mAh Li-ion battery. More details will be added soon.

Source: AT&T