This week in laptops

Intel dominates headlines this week, thanks to IDF.

Atom processor

Imagine us saying (in our best Jan Brady voice): "Intel, Intel, Intel!" The chipmaker managed to dominate laptop news this week thanks to the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, where the company heavily hyped all things small, especially its next-generation Classmate PC (see our exclusive full review) and mobile Internet devices running on the new Atom chip.

For visual learners, we've got a photo gallery of mobile Internet devices from the show, and Intel has posted a video of one of these bad boys being cracked open. For the more technical types, we've also got the specifications on all five of the Atom processors that are part of the launch. For the gadget freaks, we've got more information on the Lenovo IdeaPad U8 .

The only thing missing from the IDF small-device love-fest? Microsoft . Oh, and Dell, whose executives said that Intel's smoking crack if it thinks the little guys will be as popular as laptops. (Fine, what they really said was that mobile Internet devices will represent a much smaller piece of the market than Intel projects.)

Other news from the show: an impossibly tiny motherboard , preproduction solid-state drives , wireless display connections , and a new antitheft technology for laptops.

But hey, this week wasn't all about Intel. Toshiba unleashed a boatload of Satellites decked out in pinstripes; CTL announced the official availability of the 2go PC (based on Intel's Classmate PC design); and rumors flew that Best Buy would soon be selling a Windows XP version of the Eee PC . We were also intrigued by both a bag that cools your laptop without a fan and a project that uses your laptop's built-in accelerometer to gather data on seismic activity.

Finally, following in the esteemed footsteps of the MacBook Air, a Vista-based laptop fell to hackers in the PWN2OWN contest at CanSecWest. By the end of the conference, only a Sony VAIO laptop running Ubuntu remained unscathed. Which begs the question: Is open source that secure, or is it just that no one wanted the VAIO?

Have a great weekend!

About the author

    Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.


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