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News for Wednesday, 25 April 2007

MacBook Pro 17" and its Swelling Battery

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 25/04/2007 13:44:07 CEST - Category: Laptop
We keep receiving reports from Intel-based MacBook owners, especially for Mac Book Pro 17". As for the MacBook Pro 15", the reports seems to identify defective series of battery.
Hereafter is a report from Antoine:
I am the system administrator of a research lab and I have been facing the "swelling battery" issue. among 4 MacBook Pro 17" Core Duo ordered, three of them had swelling battery, and should be replaced.
The first sign of the problem that will lead latter on to the swelling syndrome is the random shunt-down of the notebook when running on battery. sometimes, it can also be identified by a lower reactivity of the trackpad, due to the pressure of the swelling battery.
Below is a photo of a swelling battery sent by Valentin.

We do not have enough reports to give all serial numbers potentially affected, but it seems that models ending with UUUS0A are particularly affected. Do not forget that such battery has be to exchanged (for free) and should not be used anymore as they are then potentially dangerous (explosion)

HP InkJet Supplies Strategy: How to Foul Users?

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 25/04/2007 13:31:38 CEST - Category: Peripheral - Source: Mactech
Unlike Epson and its addiction to bring all third parties Inkjet Suppliers to the court, HP announced its wish to change the way it delivers inkjet cartridges to customers; aiming to offer them more choice, greater value and a simplified shopping experience, both in-store and online. HP roles out a 3 color-coded packaging system across its entire inkjet cartridge portfolio: standard (blue), value (green) and specialty (red). It is supposed to help customers to buy cartridges corresponding to their needs.
- Standard cartridges (blue packaging): a lower price tag ($14.99) for customers who still want access to high-quality printing, but don’t want to
pay a lot at the point of purchase; supposing they do not print many documents (highest cost/page for standard printing)
* Value cartridges (green packaging): aiming to bring a financially interesting solution for customers with higher volume printing needs (lower cost/page compared to standard cartridges). This line will include a new high-yield cartridge entitled "XL", supposed to cut cost/page but an additional 30 to 45%. The "XL" logo will be added to the Value green packaging labeling.
* Specialty cartridges (red packaging): targeting Professional or more demanding printing jobs, such as photos. It will probably replace the current Photo-specific cartridge.
If HP thinks it will answer customer's needs with this new strategy, we think it will probably foul them around, making it almost impossible to identify the true cartridge corresponding to their needs. We think it is a way to bring price below the $14.99 price range while maintaining HP profit on printer consumable outrageous. By changing the volume of ink in cartridges, HP expects to attract customers back to its branded cartridges by playing the "price game", but at the end, customers will quickly identify the real cost of their printing jobs.

BD Alliance Claims 70% of HD Movie Sales!

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 25/04/2007 12:05:43 CEST - Category: CD Drives
Couple of weeks ago we reported that BD players were closing the gap with HD-DVD players concerning sales of HD movies. Last data from the USA shows that based on sales of a movie available in both HD format "The Departed", 53640 units were purchased in BD format while "only" 31590 units in HD-DVD.
It seems that the PlayStation 3 effect starts to impact the battle between both formats, at least concerning sales of HD movies; as for blue lased-based burners/drives found in computers BD keeps leading hands down.

First Santa Rosa-based Notebooks Unveiled

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 25/04/2007 11:56:19 CEST - Category: Laptop - Source: Dailytech
The notebook market keeps growing and some manufacturers intentionally release specifications of their future models way in advance for marketing reasons. Based on this strategy, and following Fujitsu leaks last week, Lenovo "unveiled" specification of its first Santa Rosa-based notebook model, known as ThinkPad T61 and R61:
- Bus 800 MHz
- Core 2 Duo (T7x00) up to 2.4GHz
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 IGP (GMA3000)
- WiFi drafted 802.11n
- Intel Turbo Card, aka Robson technology, supporting up to 1GB of flash memory.
Availability in shops is expected as soon as next week (May) while new models featuring a BD burner will only arrive in July.
If Apple keeps following its policy of bringing Intel technology to the Mac platform as soon as there are released, we should have new MB, MB Pro, and potentially iMac models in a very future. It could also explain why the RefurbStore is currently offering all Core and Core 2 Duo-based MB and MB Pro models.
Based on Santa Rosa specifications, the new MB Pro and iMac models should feature:
iMac and MB Pro:
- 800MHz bus
- Core 2 Duo (T7x00) ranging from 2.0 to 2.4GHz
- 1 or 2GB of RAM, with a maximum of 4GB
- Intel Turbo Card with 512MB or 1GB pre-installed flash memory
- SuperDrive and BD burner as a BTO option (especially for iMac)
- GPU: the Radeon X2900 could be installed in the iMac, but for cost reason it could also remain powered by NVidia solutions. MB Pro should remain with ATI GPU.
- display resolution should not improve, but Apple might offer a full HD compatible panel, even though one will have to wait for Leopard to fully benefit from it.
MacBook:
- Core 2 Duo (T7x00) ranging from 1.8 to 2.2GHz on an 800MHz bus.
- 1 or 2GB of RAM, with a maximum of 4GB
- Intel Turbo Card with 256MB or 512MB pre-installed flash memory (larger capacity as a BTO)
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 IGP (GMA3000)
- SuperDrive or BD Combo drive (BD player DVD burner)
If specifications should not be a surprise anymore, the design remains unclear as Apple might choose to continue with the current enclosures, or move to a completely new look.

Radeon X2900: The New NVidia Killer?

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 25/04/2007 11:30:20 CEST - Category: Video
ATI, or should we say AMD, has postponed the release of their new generation of GPU, code name R600, for months.
But according to benchmarks published by Dailytech, it was worth waiting for.

The Radeon X2900 XT is faster than the corresponding NVidia flagship 8800 GTS in all benchmarks. Last but not least, the Radeon X2900 XT is even faster than the Professional-oriented and very expensive Quadro FX 5500!
So, it is good news, and could explain the on-going rumor concerning the Radeon X2900 XT as a BTO for Mac Pro. Let's hope that it will be silent too, and that the air inlet of the GPU cooling system will not trap dust as for the Radeon X1900 XT.

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