The MacBook Air SuperDrive

Apple may think it’s over for optical media, but we have a feeling a lot of MacBook Air customers are going to end up spending the $99 on the external SuperDrive. The 1.06-pound USB-powered dual-layer burner is as slickly encased in aluminum as the Air itself, has a built-in cable and features 4X DL read / write speeds, 8x DVD±R, and 24x CD-R. No official word on availability just yet, but we’d guess it’ll ship alongside the Air in two weeks.

The MacBook Air

Apple just announced the .16-inch thin MacBook Air — a laptop so thin it fits in a manila envelope. The new machine features a full-size keyboard and LED-backlit 13.3-inch display with built-in iSight, and the new larger trackpad supports multi-touch gestures. Just like the iPhone, you’ll be able to pan around, pinch to zoom, and rotate with two fingers, and move windows with a flick. Apple got the size down by using the same 1.8-inch 80GB drive that’s in the iPod classic, but you’ll be able to order a 64GB SSD as an option. The Air eschews optical media, but there’s a separate external you can snag for $99 and Apple’s also announced a feature called Remote Disk that’ll let the Air get data off the optical drive in any PC or Mac running the Remote Disk software. Pricing starts at $1799, and the Air will be shipping in two weeks.

Inventec’s UMPC 7-A and 5-d get Pictured

As you can glean from the image above, the UMPC 7-A sports a nifty slider design that supposedly places the QWERTY keyboard at a “more natural angle” for the user. As for the so-called UMPC 5-D (shown after the jump), it ditches the aforementioned design and takes a more modular approach to satisfy those who just adore buying a new dock for every handheld they own. Regrettably, we’ve no hard details surrounding the specs of these two machines, but we doubt we’ll have to twiddle our thumbs for too much longer before finding out.

Dlo Iboom Jukebox reminds us of an igloo

This igloo shaped by DLO looks nice but not many features for the price. Is still neat and comes with a nice RF remote to control your Ipod content right on the screen. Outside of that you will find a totally average speaker setup consisting of twin one inch tweeter and three inch woofer along that with a set of touch sensitive controls at the top. Reportedly, the iBoom JukeBox is slated to further saturate the iPod speaker system market this Spring for $199.99.

CES 2008 Bill Gates going to make a big Xbox Announcement

ceslogo2cc7.pngSeattle Times staff columnist Brier Dudley published an editorial earlier this week in which he speculates the announcements Bill Gates could make in his last CES keynote as chairman of Microsoft. Dudley said the following regarding the Xbox:

Saving the best for last, Gates could end his CES run with a bang by making a blockbuster Xbox announcement.

I’ve speculated on my blog that Microsoft may be preparing to license the Xbox gaming platform to consumer-electronics companies. In particular, Microsoft could work with Toshiba to develop a digital video recorder with a hard-drive, high-definition HD-DVD drive and Xbox gaming capabilities. They’re already allied against Sony and other backers of the Blu-ray DVD format, and Toshiba could help Xbox finally penetrate the Japanese market.

Microsoft could also make a splash by announcing plans to give the Xbox 360 an internal HD-DVD drive, putting it on par with Sony’s PlayStation 3 that has a built-in Blu-ray drive.

But then again, Gates may want to keep everyone in suspense about the next Xbox, in case he decides to return to CES after all.