Culture

This week in laptops

Crave presents the week's laptop news, in digest form.

The paparazzi go crazy for laptops.

The preholiday, pre-CES season is upon us, which means lots of announcements and rumors but not necessarily any physical products. For example, Dell CTO Kevin Kettler took advantage of his stage time at Oracle OpenWorld to demo the Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC, which he said will ship in the next few months. Alienware confirmed that it will be announcing its redesigned Area-51 m15x and m17x laptops on Monday and sent along some teaser photos to whet our appetites. Deeper in the rumor mill we found tales of an ultraportable MacBook as well as an Eee PC with a 10-inch screen, though Asus was quick to deny such plans "at the moment." In other announcements, Panasonic launched three new ToughBook models, Asus got merry with an all-white holiday-edition of its leather-lidded 14.1-inch laptop, and the OLPC project's limited-time-only Give One, Get One program started on Monday.

Also this week, we had a look at the 17-inch Asus G2S gaming rig; we liked its good looks but were uninspired by its gaming performance. Our colleagues at Crave UK debated the merits of the mostly-white Packard Bell EasyNote MB. Matt Elliott wondered if the Wibrain B1 UMPC will actually be useful. And our geekdom was sealed when not even celebrities could pull our attention away from Sony's Graphic Splash laptops.

Other stories of interest: Apple shipped its first Leopard update; an enthusiast successfully installed OSX on an Eee PC; we admired the hybrid rolling luggage cart and laptop stand; and researchers are working on new ways to interact with laptops, including blowing on the screen and human-powered battery charging. Finally, Lenovo's continuing to celebrate the ThinkPad's 15th anniversary with a video contest (in the U.S. and Canada); the winner receives a ThinkPad X series.

Have a great weekend!