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Nokia launches trendiest phone yet

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Handset

Nokia continues to try and find new mobile phone form factors that might supersede the classic rectangular shape, this time with the 7600 an almost square handset, with the number buttons placed on either side of the 16-bit colour, 128 x 160 screen:

Weighing a mere 123g and measuring 8.7 x 7.8 x 1.86cm, the 7600 is one of the lightest and smallest dual-band GSM and 3G (WCDMA) phones in the world, Nokia claims. It's a "unique marriage between technology and design", the company says - just what trendies the world over are looking for, it believes.

Indeed, a 1000 units in special packaging are destined to be offered over the counter of such designer stores as London's Conran Shop, Stockholm's Asplunds, Paris' Colette, Milan's Corso Como 10, Barcelona's Vincon and Munich's Wittgenstein, sweetie-darling. OK, yaah.

The company has managed to cram in a 640 x 480 digicam which can be used for stills and two-and-a-half minutes of 15fps video. To complete the handset's multimedia features list is polyphonic ring-tone support and a built-in MP3/AAC audio player.

Songs can be transferred to the handset using a USB connection or the phone's integrated Bluetooth link. Up to 29MB of storage capacity is available for tracks, pictures and video. The phone has talk time of up to four hours in GSM networks and almost three hours using a 3G connection. Stand-by time is up to 12.5 days in both networks.

Notebook

HP will launch three new notebooks next month, of Taiwanese "notebook industry" sources cited by DigiTimes are to be believed. They claim that the machines will sport 12.1in, 14.1in and 15.1in displays. With a focus on the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas sales season, it's likely that all three notebooks will be pitched at consumers rather than business. However, they are likely to be targeted at mainstream punters rather than buyers on a budget.

Mobos

Asustek has launched a motherboard for AMD's pricey 940-pin Athlon 64 FX chip. It also supports the Opteron 100 - not much of a surprise, since the two are fundamentally the same processor.

The SK8V mobo is based on VIA's K8T800 chipset. The board provides four Serial ATA channels with RAID 0, 1 and 0+1 support thanks to the chipset's SATA controller and a connected Promise RAID controller; a dual-channel DDR SDRAM memory bus supporting up to four 400MHz registered PC3200 DIMMs; an AGP 8x graphics slot and five PCI slots; a 1394 port and eight USB 2.0 ports; six-channel sound with a S/PDIF digital audio output port and 3Com Gigabit Ethernet. The board also features a slot for Asus' 802.11b adaptor card, which can be configured as a base-station for other Wi-Fi enabled machines.

Asustek bundles a host of overclocker-oriented tools which allow the system to be tweaked for faster performance.

Many of these features are shared by the existing Nvidia nForce 3 Pro 150-based SK8N mobo, which Asustek has said now also supports the Athlon 64 FX through a BIOS update.

The SK8V's VIA chipset also forms the basis of the new K8V Deluxe mobo, this timed for regular, 754-pin Athlon 64 chips. The feature sets are largely the same, however, the K8V provides only three DIMM slots. ®

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