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Lenovo enters the Chromebook market with the $429 ThinkPad X131e

Lenovo enters the Chromebook market with the $429 ThinkPad X131e

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Lenovo ThinkPad X131e Chromebook
Lenovo ThinkPad X131e Chromebook

Lenovo's ThinkPad lineup has been one of the best and best-known series of Windows computers over the last two decades, but it looks like Lenovo's expanding the brand: the company has just released the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook, its first computer powered by Google's web-based Chrome OS. There's already a Windows-powered X131e, and it looks like Lenovo hasn't changed much besides the operating system. The Chromebook is primarily designed for students, and Lenovo's touting its rugged design (there's a bumper around the edge in case it's dropped, and even the hinges are extra sturdy) as much as its specs. The four-pound, 11.6-inch laptop comes with an Intel processor — Lenovo doesn't specify which, but it's a safe guess to say it won't be a high-powered Core i5 or i7 — plus a 1366 x 768 display, HDMI and VGA ports, a webcam, and a battery that Lenovo says will last "the entire school day," while Google says it's 6.5 hours.

For a while, "the Chromebook" was a single device, from one company that worked with Google to show off what its cloud-based OS could do. Now Lenovo marks the third manufacturer, after Acer and Samsung, to make inexpensive laptops running Google's software. Lenovo's announcement of the laptop cites data about how much easier Chromebooks are to deploy and maintain than Windows machines, and how much more practical the OS is becoming as Google Apps become more prevalent in schools — if that's all true, it could be a significant shot across Microsoft's bow in a key market. The X131e will be available February 26th for $429, plus a $30 one-time support cost, but there's no telling if or when it will be available to non-education customers. Guess it's time to go back to middle school.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

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Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


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The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
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Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


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Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


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If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


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Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.