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The Revamped Classmate PC

Intel announced their latest revamp to the Classmate PC. In essence it is a tablet PC which looks like a Netbook, but it is quite formidable if you look closer.

It features an Atom N450 processor, a 160 GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, GPS and allows OEM’s to include 3G or WiMax connectivity. It is also EnergyStar 5.0 compliant and is touted as having an eight and a half hour battery life. But the real kicker is the 1366×768 touch screen.

The screen responds to touch and to a stylus. It can also be rotated so that it lies flat on the keyboard, essentially turning it into a tablet PC. Orientation of the screen is automatically handled by an accelerometer. Intel has also made a smart decision by putting the webcam and microphone on a pivot mount, which allows users to capture themselves or the background.

The PC is quite rugged in design and is made of thick plastic so that young users need not be extra careful when using it. The rubberized surface provides users with an excellent grip. The cooling vents have been placed thoughtfully and the stylus has a neat recess that it can go to as well as having a place to be tethered to. The screen also features some buttons around it, which enables certain quick tasks when it is used in the tablet PC mode.

All in all, Intel seems to have done a good job in thinking things through and providing features that appeal to the target market. Look for it to hit the market soon!

The Battle for the Handhelds Heats Up

The Apple iPad is doing well in sales; selling over 300,000 on the first day seems to be a good indication of its popularity. Another good indication is how much the hackers are interested in it. The device was jailbroken in less than a day giving Apple a bittersweet experience. The positive side is that the tech community and hackers want the device and the negative side is that Apple is starting to become a bit like Microsoft, having to release fixes on a fairly regular basis.

The software used to hack the iPad seems to be a variant of “Spirit”, an application that is used to crack iPhones. Apple has not reacted to the reports of the jailbreak and it is not known if users of jailbroken iPads will be treated like some users who have jailbroken Apple products. In the past Apple has rendered devices useless and even banned some users from the Apple App Store.

While all this drama ensues, HP decided to seize the moment and release a tiny sneak peek at the new Slate Tablet. The device in the video appears to be about the same size as the Apple product but in features it differs significantly. It has two cameras, one in front and one behind, and it also has USB and SD card support. None of these features are found on the iPad. The Slate runs Windows 7 as the OS and features touch controls and supports Adobe Flash and Air. The latter software is also not supported on the iPad.

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