The week in gadgets

18 Jul 2011

Who said things get quiet in the summer? The coming weeks are going to be exciting with the launch of the new Mac OS X Lion, rumours of new MacBook Air and Mac Pro machines, as well as a bevy of Android smartphones and tablets.

C’mon Apple, let your Lion roar!

As well as Apple releasing its financial results tomorrow night, the company was initially believed to be releasing the new Mac OS X Lion in the past week but its July launch may now happen this week, along with new models of the MacBook Air and Mac Pro computer lines.

Part numbers suggesting an upgraded MacBook Air line have appeared alongside part numbers for a series of an upgraded Mac Pro model.

New MacBook Air machines equipped with the new ThunderBolt connector have been expected and Mac Pro machines sporting the ultra-fast I/O connector technology certainly makes sense.

These will be the first Macs that will ship with the new OS X Lion operating system, which is expected to launch on the Mac App Store in the coming days.

LG to unveil new Gingerbread smartphones

LG will release two new Android phones – the Optimus Net and the Optimus Pro – later this summer in Europe.

Both devices will run on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and will include a 1500mAh battery.

The two phones are both equipped with a 800MHz CPU.

The Optimus Pro focuses on QWERTY keyboard typing whereas the Optimus Net aims to consolidate social networking communications in one widget.

The Optimus Pro and the Optimus Net will be available in 30 markets globally from this summer, starting in Europe.

Amazon planning its own-branded tablet computer in October

Online retailer Amazon may release its own tablet computer in October to rival Apple’s iPad, reports suggest. Amazon wants to release hardware to support the digital content available on its site.

The tablet could have a 9-inch screen, may not have a camera and may run on the Android platform. While many Honeycomb tablets have been criticised for their high prices, the report suggests Amazon could afford to make its tablet much cheaper in the hopes of gaining that money back through digital purchases.

Amazon won’t design this tablet and has reportedly outsourced its production to an Asian manufacturer. However, it may be working on another model of its own design for a release next year.

Panasonic reveals new Toughbook rugged PC

Panasonic has released its second rugged tablet PC range, the Toughbook CF-H2, aimed at field workers who need a strong computer for harsh environments.

Weighing 1.58kg, the new Toughbook range is equipped with a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor with Intel HD 3000 graphics. According to Panasonic, its performance is 400pc better than its predecessor.

It has 2GB RAM as standard, which can be boosted up to 8GB RAM as an option. The new Toughbook also includes a 160GB hard drive as standard.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years