This week in laptops

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

Michelle Thatcher Former Senior Associate Editor, Laptops
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.
Michelle Thatcher
2 min read
Foleo, we hardly knew ye Palm

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

Apple did its best to distract us, but we kept our focus on laptops this week--aided by the tunes pumping out of our new iPod Classic. Ahem. It was a big week for business laptops: ThinkPad officially announced the leather-bound ThinkPad Reserve, whose $5,000 price tag and limited number will appeal to jet-set execs looking to impress. For lower-level workers, HP announced three new business laptops with an updated look and feel; the company also said that it would begin offering 64GB solid-state drives on its professional laptops and mobile workstations. In the same announcement, HP unveiled AMD versions of its Pavilion laptop line as well as the $949 HP Pavilion dx6500. Like HP, Vigor also unleashed a handful of laptops on consumers, from a 17-inch gamer to a budget-minded 15.4-inch model; Laptoping has the details.

In Europe, our sister site ZDNet Germany was all over the IFA consumer electronics show and sent back pictures of some of the gadgets on display, including the ridiculous Acer 9920 "laptop," which features a 20.1-inch display, and theLG R200, a 12.1-inch laptop with a Sideshow display on the lid. Visit the CNET News.com slide show for a peek at all the gadgets spotted by our European counterparts. Also in Europe, Sony's German Web site briefly leaked details about the VAIO NR, a 15-inch laptop that may or may not make it to our shores.

One product we definitely won't see on our shores--or anywhere else in the world--is the Palm Foleo laptop-thing. Amid skepticism about the usefulness of a $499 device that did little more than a smart phone, Palm announced that it was canceling the first-gen Foleo. That might not be the last we hear of it, though, as Palm is reportedly still working on the Foleo II.

In cheap laptop news, DigiTimes reported that the $200 Asus Eee PC (which we wrote about a few weeks ago) is expected to drive down the costs of UMPCs and other portables. And Matt Elliott marked the six-week anniversary of waiting in vain for his $150 Medison Celebrity laptop to ship.

Elsewhere in the news, Toshiba unveiled a host of hard drives; sales of notebooks in the "back to school" period of mid-July through mid-August were up 24 percent compared with last year; and 15.4-inch MacBook Pros are reportedly shipping 7-10 days late due to a shortage of the LED-backlit display--not all that unbelievable, considering Dell has also blamed some of its delays on a shortage of LED-backlit display technology. Also, PC Magazine picked its five sexiest laptops for the style-conscious; Lenovo unleashed a ThinkPad-branded smart phone (complete with TrackPoint!) in China; and our colleagues at Webware summarized the "New Devices for Mobile Workers" panel at this week's Office 2.0 conference.

Have a great weekend!