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MacBook speculation, Dell simplifies: The week in laptops

Rumors of a MacBook redesign reach a fever pitch, Dell decides to keep it simple (smart!), and we get our hands on the Sony Vaio TT and Lenovo IdeaPad S10. It's the week in laptops!

Is this the new MacBook? nowhereelse.fr

Can wishing make really make it true? We'll find out, as fanboys and bloggers alike continue to fan the MacBook rumor flames. First came reports that Apple would ditch plastic in favor of aluminum for its new MacBook design. That was quickly followed by a single blurry photograph purported to be a picture of one of the actual new MacBooks, which set off a flurry of speculation.

When will we know for sure? Patience, grasshopper: Word on the street is that the new MacBooks will drop on October 14.

Meanwhile, Dell was in a simplifying mood this week: The company halved the number of digits in its Inspiron model names and announced plans to move entirely to LED-backlit displays on all its laptops. Not exactly simple, but welcome nonetheless, are the dizzying options available for the company's 17-inch workstation, the Precision M6400.

In reviews this week, we enjoyed the thoroughly affordable Asus G50V gamer as well as two new "checkpoint-friendly" laptop bags from CODi and Targus. We also spent some time with the new Sony VAIO TT ultraportable and the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 Netbook; expect full reviews soon.

More product news: HP quietly released the G60, an AMD-based, 15.6-inch laptop, at Circuit City; Toshiba announced new laptop drives, both solid-state and spinning; Asus is adding HSUPA broadband to its Eee PC Netbooks; and Asus' bamboo laptops are one step closer to U.S. availability.

We hadn't heard from Panasonic in a while, but the company added to its line of rugged laptops with the ToughBook F8 and showed off an Atom-based tablet designed for the medical profession.

And finally, WiMax is due to launch in Baltimore on October 8--but it's not clear how popular the technology will be among laptop manufacturers or users.

Have a great weekend!