Lenovo introduced its first Chromebook, a laptop the company says is designed primarily for use in schools. But while the Lenovo ThinkPad X131e Chromebook is priced at an so-called affordable US$430, it’s more expensive than the Chromebooks offer by Acer($200) and Samsung($250). So, what’s with the high price tag ? Lenovo said that their ThinkPad Chromebook is more sturdy — the corners, hinges and hinge brackets have all been reinforced. There is a rubberized bumper coating the back of the laptop’s monitor, rather than the plastic construction on the other Chrome OS devices. You also get a high-definition, 11.6-inch, 1366×768 LED display, a 6.5-hour battery, and an Intel Celeron processor inside. And of course, you have to pay a little bit more for its signature red trackpad nub …
NASA’s Earth Observatory has released startling before-and-after photos of northeastern China, where residents in Beijing and other cities have been suffering from suffocating levels of smog and air pollution. The satellite images were taken from the same position in space, 11 days apart; the left photo was captured on January 14th, the right on January 3rd. As the images make clear, Beijing has seen increased haze, cloud, and fog coverage over this period, NASA notes that the region’s clouds and fog “have a tinge of gray or yellow from the air pollution,” and that even cloudless areas captured on January 14th were blanketed in brown and gray smog. The Chinese government has been always reluctant to acknowledge its air pollution problem. We hope the Earth Observatory site won’t be banned in China because of releasing these data which is considered ‘endangering national security’.
According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC), China saw its internet-connected population swell to 564 million, up 10 percent over last year. That is an increase of 51 million users which is equal to one and a third times the population of California, or nearly half the population of Japan. The increase owes to a huge increase in mobile web users — up 18.1 percent over last year to 420 million. Authorities are encouraging Internet use for business and education but also try to block access to material considered subversive or obscene and are tightening controls. The growth has been going noticed by the Chinese government, and we believe they will put more regulations (restrictions) this year on mobile internet.
Lenovo has unveiled a 27-inch all-in-one desktop at CES. The new Horizon Table PC is a big multi-touch touchscreen device which aimed at family time around the coffee table. It is a Windows 8-based PC and it can be propped up and viewed in different modes. The Horizon can lie flat on any surface, lets two or more people use the screen at the same time. It can even supports interactive physical gaming accessories for touchscreen gameplay among several players. The using experience on Horizon may define as the new PC Plus era, it will be interesting to see how the machine may become the centrepiece of homes or businesses. One more thing, Lenovo will also have a larger 37-inch Horizon Table PC in the pipeline ready for release, pictures after the jump.
Baidu and Tencent, the two Chinese internet giants, landed in Vietnam in 2012. Their rapid growth have threaten the information security of local internet users, which added that both companies would undermine local internet companies. Baidu introduced the Vietnamese version of its search engine and other online services in January last year. Page views soared from 70,000 in April to 2 million by August. Tencent also launched its mobile phone text and voice messaging service in April last year, attracting more than 1 million Vietnamese users so far. Local media suspect the two internet companies are accessing and stealing information from users. Some former users have complained that the software is hard to remove after installation. Baidu’s search engine will automatically redirect usage patterns of Vietnamese netizens. If take-up passes 50 percent of local users, Vietnamese internet companies will lose their influence over the way people in the country surf the net.
Two months ago, Chinese famous DVD player maker BBK announced Vivo X1, a 6.55mm thin smartphone that took over OPPO Finder as the world’s thinnest smartphone. Today, here is a chance for you to look at the world’s thinnest smartphone meet the thinnest iPhone, and how Vivo X1 rips off iPhone 5’s two-tone back cover.
A security audit of a US critical infrastructure company revealed that its star developer had outsourced his own job to a Chinese subcontractor and was spending all his work time playing around on the internet. The so-called clever foreign developer had hired a software consultancy in Shenyang (a city in Northeast China), to do his programming work for him, and had even FedExed them his two-factor authentication token so they could log into his account to do his job. He was paying them a fifth of his six-figure salary to do the work and spent the rest of his time on other activities. The scheme worked very well, he became the firm’s top coder for many quarters …
A new study claiming that tablet shipments are to overtake notebook shipments globally for the first time this year, thanks to China market and smaller tablet. The report explains that tablet shipments will reach more than 240 million units worldwide this year, with notebooks forecast to reach 207 million units. The report also states that smaller 7 to 8-inch tablets will grow to account for 45 percent of the tablet market in 2013, with 9.7-inch devices like the iPad dropping to a share of 17 percent. Tablets also appear to be currying favor in emerging countries across the world, with fast-growing global power China set to become the second largest tablet market in 2013 …
It has been announced for almost a month already, and it is ZTE’s new showstopper. It boasts some impressive specs: a beautiful 5-inch 1080p display, a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor and a 13mp rear shooter using Konica Minolta optics. Its aluminum chassis is merely 7.6mm thick, which is extremely thin comparing to the other 5-inch smartphones. However, the downside is it’s not as cheap as like other handsets from Chinese manufacturers. It will set you back 3,456 yuan (US$550) for the aluminum model and 7,890 yuan (US$1,260) for the titanium version. If the price tag did not bother you, then you would have to wait until ZTE launches the device outside China. The time frame is not confirmed yet, but ZTE promised it’ll release sometimes in the first quarter of 2013 and the international version will have support for 4G LTE network. We have a photo gallery of the Nubia Z5 aluminum model to show you after the break.
Shenzhen-based automaker BYD said that the European Union has given the company the go-ahead to sell its electric buses to all EU member countries, BYD has been granted the Whole Vehicle Type-Approval, which means it does not require further certification from individual member countries. The approval is an important step in BYD’s pursuit of the European market. The company will produce 40 to 60 K9 electric buses in Bulgaria from February next year. BYD in which US investment guru Warren Buffet owns a stake, is the largest global electric bus maker and has sold more than 300 GreenCity/K9 electric buses to countries including Netherlands and Uruguay. Production lines are planned to be set up in Canada and the United States in future …
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