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This week in laptops

OLPC, Eee PC, Intel, and Apple dominate this week's laptop news.


Judging from this week's headlines, laptops just aren't looking much like laptops anymore. Exhibit A: the bizarre, dual-screen laptop prototype currently up for auction on eBay. Exhibit B: the funky Sony LJ Series (which some commenters even insist is not a laptop). Exhibit C: the next-generation OLPC XO, which looks kind of like a regular laptop but includes two touch screens instead of a traditional keyboard and monitor. (Check out our photo gallery of the proposed $75 OLPC XO-2.)

Meanwhile, the OLPC's success has already led to one spinoff venture, Sugar Laboratories. The software company is reportedly in talks to get its brand of Linux on low-cost laptops from four manufacturers--which means everyone's wondering whether the software will show up on the Asus Eee PC. One thing that will not be on the Eee PC? WiMax.

In component news, Intel reopened its manufacturing facility in Chengdu, 55 miles from the epicenter of the recent devastating earthquake in China. Dell took honors as the first manufacturer to stock a laptop (the XPS M1730) with Seagate's massive new 320GB, 7,200rpm hard drive. And DigiTimes reported that the premium you'll pay for an LED-backlit notebook display continues to shrink relative to traditional displays. Hooray for progress!

In product news, Hypersonic PC debuted the Avenger AG2, a 12.1-inch ultraportable that's available in several bright colors. CNET Reviews had a look at three laptops: the semi-rugged Averatec Voya 6494, the movie-lover's dream Acer Aspire 8920, and the affordable Gateway P-6860FX for gamers.

Other tidbits from this week: we dissected a Compaq Presario V2000--and took photos; a company called FastMac offered up a way to charge your spare MacBook battery; AT&T opened up its Wi-Fi hotspots to its 3G wireless data service subscribers; and for non-AT&T subscribers, the CNET team found some freeware that helps you pair your laptop to your phone's data connection.

Have a great weekend!