Super hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder gets priced and production start date

Posted in Cars,Images,News,Technology by Scott Meisner on March 24th, 2011

The Porsche 918 Spyder. We’ve been following this hybrid beast for quite some time now. What started out as a concept vehicle eventually got the green light for production, and now it’s actually up for preorder. The sports car company says that it “marries unique plug-in hybrid technology and outstanding performance in a visually stunning and purely Porsche package.” And that it is. At the heart of the 918 Spyder lies a 500-plus horsepower V8 engine assisted by two electric motors with a total of at least 218 horsepower. Electric energy is stored in a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from a standard household outlet. Juicing up the vehicle is expected to take about seven hours. Oh, and it’s fast. It zips from zero to 60 MPH in about 3.1 seconds and can reach a top track speed of about 199 MPH. And according to Porsche, “under the right conditions” it will be able to drive on electric power alone at speeds up to 94 MPH. Even more impressive? The plug-in hybrid delivers 78MPG.

Do you have loads of money? Then keep reading. The 918 Spyder has been given a $845,000 price tag. And now you might grown when I tell you the release window: late 2013. Porsche plans to begin production on September 18, 2013 and ship ‘em out later that year in the US. The carbon fiber-reinforced Carrera GT-inspired sports car is going to cost you a pretty penny when it ships in the distant future. But that’s expected when you mash together green with luxury. Full PR after the break, images below.

[Via Engadget]

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Samsung Sliding PC 7 Series hides a full keyboard under a tablet

Posted in Image cache,News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on January 9th, 2011

CES 2011 was host to a myriad of upcoming tablets running Android, Windows 7, custom skins, you name it.  Samsung’s Sliding PC 7 Series is certainly one of the most innovative and is a stand-out winner in my humble opinion. At first you might look at the slate and think it’s just a thicker iPad.  But that thickness is apparent for a reason; hiding underneath the tablet is a slide-out chiclet keyboard with a trackpad.  This hybrid machine doubles as a 10.1 inch tablet and a small notebook PC.  I’m really impressed with the design factor here, but specs are important too: 1366×768 multitouch display, Intel’s 1.66GHz (Oak Trail) processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, 4-in-1 memory card reader, webcam, 802.11n WiFi, 3G/WiMax & DLNA support, built-in accelerometer, USB, HDMI out, will last up to nine hours on a single charge.  Samsung’s Fast Start feature will boot up the machine in as little as 15 seconds, or restore it from Hibernate and Sleep modes in 3 seconds.  The hybrid will ship with Windows 7 Home Premium and Samsung’s custom skin called Touch Launch that “comes with preloaded applications that are optimized for the touch screen display.”  To launch Sammy’s skin you simply and elegantly swipe a blue strip located on the screen bezel.  The Sliding PC 7 Series will drop in March at $699.

I’m really digging the choice hardware manufacturers are giving consumers when it comes to tablet design.  Companies like Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung are creating such inventive, sleek hardware designs that give users the option to use a simplified OS in a tablet form factor and a more robust Windows experience with a touchpad/keyboard present.  I like the idea of having a tablet that can easily be converted into a more full-fledged computing device when a full-sized keyboard is needed.  At just 2.2 pounds, Samsung’s slider isn’t that hefty and I think I can sacrifice a couple pounds in weight and some inches in thickness to know that a reliable physical keyboard is just a hand gesture away from accessibility.

Jump after the break to see the notebook do its transformation thing.  Official PR’s there too.

[Via Engadget] (Click here for more…)

Lenovo injects life back into the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid

Posted in Images,Technology by Scott Meisner on January 9th, 2011

Remember way back when (about one year ago)… Lenovo revealed a funky and intriguing laptop/tablet hybrid design called the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid.  Much like the Dell Inspiron Duo, it promised to double as a tablet running Lenovo’s custom Linux OS called Skylight and a standard notebook running Windows 7 when the tablet’s docked as a display.  Since then, Lenovo has dumped Skylight for Android and beefed up the processing power. The detachable tablet is now called LePad and it’s powered by a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor and runs a custom Lenovo skin called LeOS that’s build on top of Android 2.2.  The LePad features a 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) capacitive multitouch display and it works in both landscape and portrait modes.  An eight hour battery life is promised.   Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is expected to play nice when the product ships.  The notebook, or U1 Base, packs a 1.2GHz Intel Core and runs Windows 7.  Switching from Android to Windows is a snap, literally.  Once the tablet is locked into place in the notebook base, a couples seconds later Windows is fully loaded.  When you detach the screen the switch to Android is instantaneous.

Unfortunately for those living in the U.S. the LePad and U1 Base will not ship until Google releases Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb).  The first market Lenovo will hit is China this quarter.  The IdeaPad U1 with LePad will go for $1300 and the LePad will be available as a standalone product with an asking price of $520.

With a refreshed look and Android integration the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid is leaps and bounds superior to its original incarnation unveiled one year ago.  Here’s to hoping that Gingerbread arrives sooner rather than later so that Lenovo can work on an updated tablet skin and ship this puppy Stateside stat!  Product images below, PR after the break.

[Via Engadget]


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Dell Inspiron Duo available to purchase now, ships December 17

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on November 24th, 2010

Dell’s Inspiron duo convertible tablet is finally available to order.  And a final spec sheet reveals its guts: 10.1-inch HD (1366×768) capacitive multitouch display; Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator; Intel Atom N550 dual core processor (clocked at 1.5GHz); 2GB of RAM; 320GB (7200RPM) HDD; 1.3 megapixel camera with digital microphone; two USB ports and one headphone jack; and it comes preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Premium and Dell’s custom “duo Stage” software.  The Stage software comes into view when the laptop is transformed into a tablet form factor.  Dell is pimping its ability to “provide quick and easy access to your music, movies and photos” using touch input.  The Inspiron duo is on sale now for $549.99 with a preliminary ship date set for December 17.  Right now it’s available in “Foggy Night” (black), but Dell promises “Fastback Red” and “Marlin Blue” will be available at additional cost at an unspecified date.  For $100 extra Dell is offering the attractive hybrid netbook/tablet with an Audio Dock that features an integrated speaker and subwoofer, two USB ports, a 10/100 Ethernet adapter, and a 7-in-1 card reader.  So if you’re planning on hooking this bad boy up to the Internet and want it to double (erm, triple) as a digital photo frame, the splurge is worth it.  Full PR after the break.

[Via Dell; Engadget] (Click here for more…)

Dell Inspiron Duo to ship in early December for $549

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on November 19th, 2010

It’s official: Dell’s netbook/tablet hybrid is coming to market in the first week of December.  Underneath that conventional, super cool swivel design lies a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, 2GB of RAM, a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator, and 250GB of storage.  In standard laptop mode, Windows 7 Home Premium is your OS.  Transform it into a tablet and you’ll be introduced to Dell’s Duo Stage UI made for fingers.  The 10.1-inch, 1366×768-resolution display can be backed with a coat of blue, black, or red.  The Inspiron Duo is priced at $549.  A JBL speaker dock will ship alongside it; you can get it bundled with the Duo and bring the grand total to $649.  Antsy to get your paws on this slick lookin’ lappy?  This teaser should hold you over ’til it’s sweet release.

[Via Engadget; Dell]

Dell Inspiron Duo shows up in official teaser

Posted in Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on November 5th, 2010

Ya’ll remember when Dell unveiled the Inspiron Duo back in September at IDF?  You know, it’s the netbook/tablet hybrid that sports an awesome (albiet unconventional) swivel design.  We’ve seen it pose for press shots and star in brief hands-on demonstrations, but there’s nothing like watching it shine in an official teaser video from Dell.  Watch the Duo in convertible action above, then watch it again!  Latest murmurs point to a late 2010 release date.

[Via Engadget]

Dell’s Inspiron Duo is a netbook/tablet hybrid with swivel design

Posted in Design,Image cache,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on September 18th, 2010

At this year’s Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, Dell unveiled a brand new super cool laptop design with the Inspiron Duo.  The Duo doubles as a netbook and tablet thanks to a swiveling 10.1 inch capacitive multitouch display.  What looks like a standard netbook at first glance can instantly be transformed into a tablet device by swiveling the screen from within the frame.  It’s powered by a dual-core Intel Atom N550 chip and runs Windows 7.  Additional specs and pricing have yet to be disclosed.  Dell says the unconventionally designed hybrid will be released into the wilds later this year.  Look after the break for a brief video showing off the swivel action and signs of capacitive touch in Microsoft Surface Globe software.

Update: A new video sufaced today featuring Dell Product Marketer Dave Zavelson handling the Inspiron Duo and showing off photo and video touch-based applications.  It’s sitting after the break for your viewing pleasure.

[Via Engadget, here, here & here] (Click here for more…)

Porsche 918 Spyder super-hybrid concept gets the green light for production

Posted in Cars,Design,Images by Scott Meisner on July 30th, 2010

I wasn’t so sure this day would come but here it is.  The gorgeous, green Porsche 918 Spyder is being upgraded from a concept model to production series.  The 918 Spyder made its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and made waves in the car industry due to its conventional hybrid nature.  It’s powered by a 500HP V8 engine and a pair of 109HP electric motors.  This hybrid powertrain promises to provide 78-mpg efficiency.  Note that these numbers match up with the Geneva concept model; they may change slightly when the production model makes its way to the dealership.  Release date and price has not been made official yet, but whispers say the green machine will cost around  €500,000 (or $650,000 USD).  If the car makes its way to the States, it will be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, if that helps any.  Look in the gallery below (warning: you may drool) and peek after the break for the official PR.

[Via Engadget; Autoblog]

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept is one hell of a hybrid

Posted in Cars,Design,Images by Scott Meisner on March 9th, 2010

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

The Porsche 918 Spyder Concept is the most handsome hybrid vehicle I have ever laid my eyes on.  Set to replace the aging Carrera GT, the 918 Spyder Concept is powered by a 3.4-liter V-8 engine and a hybrid drive system that can crank out  500-horses (9200 rpm) while maintaining a 78-mpg efficiency.  Surprisingly the hybrid system does not affect this car’s superspeed; it can go 0-62 in 3.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 198mph.  It’s being previewed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and likely won’t hit the production lines until a year or two.  Style and speed with an interior painted bright green.  Now that’s what I call good economical sense.  Can’t wait to see the price tag, though.

[Via MotorAuthority; Engadget]

Fireplace + HDTV integration

Posted in Design,Image cache,Technology by Scott Meisner on December 31st, 2009

Helex’s “I-Vision” integrates the two main focal points of your living room–a fireplace and a flat-screen television.  The HDTV is covered with a glass panel and completely disappears above the gas-powered fireplace when it’s turned off.  This fireplace-HDTV hybrid holds a modern, sleek look that can turn any ordinary living room into a technological marvel.  And now it’s on my list of things to install into my future home.  Additional shot after the break.

[Via Bornrich; Gizmodo]

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The Hybrid2 bike concept

Posted in Images,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on July 18th, 2009

chiyu chen, bike, biking, kinetic energy, transportation, green design, sustainable design, hybrid2 system

The technology behind this bike goes way beyond the meaning of “hybrid.”  Here is how it works:  You rent one of these bikes from a city kiosk and use it to transport yourself around.  When you use your strength to pedal and move forward, you are charging the bike up with kinetic energy.  When you are done using the bike, you return it to the city kiosk.  Once returned, the stored kinetic energy in the bike is contained in the kiosk where it combines with the kinetic energy from the other parked bikes.  The combined kinetic energy then feeds energy to the city’s “smart grid” where it helps recharge and power the city’s fleet of hybrid electric buses.  The more energy you contribute to the smart grid, the more credit you receive towards your next bus pass.  How cool?  The magic behind this concept, created by Chiyu Chen, is the regenerative braking system he calls “”hybrake,”  which allows riders to generate and store energy from braking and normal biking in an ultracapacitor.”  Chen has imagined that “the more energy a bicyclist generates, the more monetary credit they are given to use on public transportation.”  In addition, Chen has proposed an idea for personal ID cards that will store the credit gained from generating the energy for the bus system and a solar-powered bike stand with RFID unlock-lock capabilities.  Here’s to a future of people creating kinetic energy with their bikes to generate power for a city filled with electric buses leaving us with less conjested, traffic-free cities around the nation!  Look after the break for a video of Chen explaining how it all works in his own words.

[Via Inhabitat; Engadget]

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