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HP's fast fashion, Linux wins and losses: The week in laptops

HP grabs headlines with lengthy battery life, slim notebooks, and a high-fashion collaboration. Plus, Linux loses ThinkPads, gains a Netbook. It's the week in laptops!

HP's Vivienne Tam Special Edition mini-note

This week, your Intrepid Editor returns from vacation, just in time to catch a Hewlett-Packard laptop-news trifecta. First, the company announced that it had achieved a mobile-computing milestone by getting the HP EliteBook 6930p to operate continuously for 24 hours on a single battery charge. Then came word that the Voodoo Envy 133 laptop, introduced in June, started shipping to customers. And finally, the company brought a bit of geekiness to New York's Fashion Week when a Vivienne Tam-designed HP mininote hit the runways.

Sony also initiated a multipronged attack on the headlines this week, first with its 18.4-inch media laptop, the Vaio AW, followed by two more Vaios on Friday.

Meanwhile, Lenovo dealt Linux fans a blow when it quietly stopped offering the OS as a preinstall option for its ThinkPads, IdeaPads, ThinkCenters, and IdeaCenters. But Linux had a win as well: the gang at CNET Asia found a $98 laptop from Chinese manufacturer HiVision with components that aren't likely to run any OS but Linux.

This week's rumor mill churned up news of a possible Samsung Netbook that just might hit the States; reports that Intel's next-generation Atom processor, codenamed Pineview, will hit the market in the third quarter of 2009; and wishful thinking for cheaper MacBooks.

In other news, Asus released a 15-inch gaming laptop, the G50V; we admired the wooden Stiletto laptop stand; and the $849 Asus N10 has us wondering: at what point is a small laptop no longer a Netbook?.

And finally, watch what you surf in seat 12C: Flight attendants and management of the newly Wi-Fi-equipped American Airlines are debating whether they should filter their in-flight Wi-Fi networks to keep passengers from accessing "inappropriate" sites (read: porn).

Have a great weekend!