Tech Thursday Round Up – January 13, 2011

  • Lenovo Redefines the ‘A, B, C’s’ of IdeaCentre All-In-One PCs
  • Sprint Announces Two new 4G Devices
  • Skype Launches Group Video Calling for Businesses
  • Hoover’s Brings Business Networking to Customers with LinkedIn Agreement
  • New Dell Vostro 460 Gives You Power for Today and Scalability for Tomorrow
  • Contest: Share your favorite Excel memory for a chance to win an Xbox & Kinect package
  • Nero Powering Multimedia File Syncing Solution for Dell’s New Stage Platform
  • Small/Medium Businesses Show Positive Outlook for IT Growth
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X120e Steps Up Ultraportable, Ultra-affordable Laptop Performance for Businesses

Lenovo Redefines the ‘A, B, C’s’ of IdeaCentre All-In-One PCs
Although this announcement is geared toward consumers (not businesses) the nice design and functionality means businesses who want to have a functional, nice looking computer. Might want to check this out.
Thumbnail image for lenovo-mast-logo.gifIdeaCentre A320 – The industry’s slimmest AIO design
The IdeaCentre A320 AIO redefines home computing with its iconic ultra-slim design and features. As the industry’s slimmest AIO design, the A320 measures just 18.5mm deepat its thinnest point. Users can enjoy stunning HD video with the 21.5-inch widescreen display and the latest high contrast LED panel technology. The AIO also comes with the latest 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, plus a complete range of connectors including HDMI in and out and an integrated card reader.
IdeaCentre B520 – Maximum entertainment with the world’s 1st frameless multitouch AIO
The IdeaCentre B520 AIO desktop is Lenovo’s most powerful AIO and is perfect for consumers seeking high-performance gaming and family entertainment in one machine. The IdeaCentre B520 delivers maximum entertainment with minimum fuss – combining high-performance graphics and the latest 2nd Generation Intel®Core™ i7 processor in a compact AIO design. As the industry’s first frameless AIO design with a multitouch touchscreen, the B520 utilizes Project Capacitive Touch (PCT) for a more accurate and comfortable multitouch user experience.
IdeaCentre B320 – The computer that’s also a TV
The 21.5-inch multi-touch IdeaCentre B320 features Hardware TV (HWTV)1 – which means the B320 is both a regular HD television and a computer. With HWTV, users don’t need to start up the PC to watch television, and you can easily switch between computer and TV modes at the press of a button, or even enjoy both at the same time with the picture-in-picture function. The full HD display supports multi-touch technology and comes with the latest 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor.

Sprint Announces Two new 4G Devices
There is absolutely no reason why your business should not be embracing mobile technology more than you are now and being more productive out of the office as in the office.
sprint_logo.gifSprint announced the upcoming availability of two new 4G devices – HTC EVO Shift™ 4G and MiFi® 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Novatel Wireless.
HTC EVO Shift™ 4G
As the 16th 4G-capable device from Sprint, HTC EVO Shift follows in the footsteps of the award-winning HTC EVO™ 4G, bringing customers an attractive, compact design and an impressive list of features with the addition of a sliding QWERTY keyboard. Beyond the highly acclaimed HTC Sense user experience, HTC EVO Shift also boasts the power of 4G, Android 2.2™, a 5MP camera, 720p HD camcorder and a 3.6-inch capacitive touchscreen display with pinch-to-zoom capability.
MiFi® 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Novatel Wireless
With the unveiling of Novatel Wireless’ ultra-compact MiFi® 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, Sprint brings customers the portability of the MiFi design with one-touch connectivity for up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices, including tablets, eReaders, laptops or gaming consoles. Delivering a true wireless experience with no cables or software installation required, MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot has battery life of up to four hours of usage and 60 hours of standby time. MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot easily supports all the needs of a family household, a frequent traveler who wants to avoid Wi-Fi charges, or even a small business team with a form factor about the size of a credit card.
Skype Launches Group Video Calling for Businesses
Thumbnail image for Skype Blue Logo.jpgSkype announced the release of a Group Video Calling feature designed especially for businesses who are shifting to an anytime/anywhere workplace model to increase employee productivity and collaboration. Through Group Video Calling, Skype users can connect with up to nine other callers for prices starting at $6.99 per month for a three to 12-month subscription for those businesses using Skype Manager.
The release of Skype’s Group Video Calling for businesses follows a recent survey commissioned by Skype which illustrates how video calling is impacting the modern workplace. The study found that 68% of technology-empowered workers report video calling makes communication richer and more productive with colleagues, clients and suppliers.
Among the many advantages of the Business version of Skype, enterprise administrators have an easy way to deploy Skype to employees within an organization. It also provides the ability to control how Skype is used within the workplace by letting administrators turn off or configure a variety of Skype settings. Enterprise administrators can also create Skype accounts for employees, allocate Skype Credit or subscriptions and assign premium features, like Group Video Calling, through a Web-based tool called Skype Manager. Group Video Calling for businesses is available from Skype for $8.99 (€5.99/£4.99)* per user per month.
Hoover’s Brings Business Networking to Customers with LinkedIn Agreement
linkedin.gifHoover’s, Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, to integrate elements of LinkedIn’s functionality into Hoover’s online business information platform. This blend of capabilities will allow Hoover’s customers to more efficiently prospect by leveraging existing connections within the Hoover’s workflow.
hoovers.JPGUltimately, the LinkedIn integration will provide business-to-business (B2B) sales professionals with a seamless interface to leverage their own LinkedIn networks within the vast context of Hoover’s business data, which is powered by D&B’s DUNSRight® quality process. By incorporating LinkedIn into its core platform, Hoover’s will deliver a clear advantage to sales professionals who want to fully work their relationships to identify their best prospects and find an “in” at those businesses.
“Social media is becoming mainstream for B2B sales professionals,” said James Rogers, vice president of marketing at Hoover’s. “According to HubSpot research, more than two-fifths of companies using various social media marketing channels have acquired a customer from those channels. For B2B firms in particular, LinkedIn was identified as the most effective social media outlet for customer acquisition. Based on these numbers and our own customer data, it was natural for us to bring business networking into the Hoover’s environment.”
New Dell Vostro 460 Gives You Power for Today and Scalability for Tomorrow
Metallic Black Logo.jpgLike their laptop counterparts, the latest Vostro desktop is designed specifically for small businesses. Customers seeking reliable IT solutions will make the most of their technology spend with the Vostro 460, benefiting from easy-to-configure features that are highly productive. The Vostro 460 is also the first SMB desktop PC offering the new Intel Sandy Bridge Quad Core processors, allowing small businesses to multi-task to the max. In addition, Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 gives you more power when and where you need it.
While the Vostro 460 offers ample technology out of the box, customers can choose extra features they need to stay on task and grow with their business. There’s plenty of storage space with a hard-disk capacity expandable up to 3TB to safe keep work files, photos, music and more. With a large 350W power supply and up to 150W of graphics-card power, you’ll never run out of juice for your upgrades. And, after a long day of hard work, entrepreneurs can let loose with the Vostro 460’s Blu-ray Disc™ drive and 7.1 HD sound.
Contest: Share your favorite Excel memory for a chance to win an Xbox & Kinect package
excel_logo.JPGShare your favorite memory of using Excel to win one of two Xbox & Kinect packages. Enter at Excel’s Facebook page and get friends to vote for your submission.
Nero Powering Multimedia File Syncing Solution for Dell’s New Stage Platform
SyncUP gives users the ability to transfer multimedia content between multiple platforms and the “cloud”
nero_logo.JPGNero,announced that its MobileSync technology platform is an essential feature of Dell’s new SyncUP solution, which will allow users to sync their multimedia and contact information between systems, their Dell mobile devices and the cloud. SyncUP offers users a number of innovative features, including the ability to automatically sync media between connected PCs and mobile handsets through a home Wi-Fi network, back-up Outlook contacts or a phone’s personal address book, while keeping personal and professional addresses separate, as well as easily offload photos and videos from a phone to the cloud to free up storage space.
Through SyncUP, Dell users will be able to easily download and share pictures across platforms, regardless of whether the files live on their computer, phone or on Internet portals like Facebook or Flickr. Movies and music can also be streamed to different devices through Nero’s advanced multimedia engine. For the mobile professional, documents and files can be synced across different devices, regardless of their location. Android™ smartphone users who lost or damaged their handset will also be able to restore their personal information and content quickly and easily from the cloud.
Small/Medium Businesses Show Positive Outlook for IT Growth
According to the latest CDW IT Monitor, a bimonthly indicator that tracks the direction and momentum of the U.S. IT marketplace, corporate IT decision makers are increasingly confident moving into the new year.
Rising growth expectations among small and medium size businesses are influencing sentiment across the entire corporate sector, despite a leveling-off in the large business sector. The overall CDW IT Monitor index score rose to 73, the first increase in six consecutive readings.
Small/Medium Business Outlook
Forty-nine percent of IT decision makers at small businesses expect to replace or install new hardware in the next six months, up 10 percentage points from October 2010.
Nine out of ten IT decision makers (90 percent) at medium sized corporations plan to replace or install new hardware in the next six months, an increase of 10 percentage points since the last reading in October.
Overall Corporate and Large Business Outlook
Three-quarters or more of corporate IT decision makers in the private sector expect to replace or install new hardware (75 percent) or software (78 percent) in the next six months, a record high since the launch of the IT Monitor in December 2007.
Eighty-eight percent of IT decision makers at large businesses anticipate replacing or installing software in the next six months, down just one percentage point since the October CDW IT Monitor.
To view the data in full, visit
Lenovo ThinkPad X120e Steps Up Ultraportable, Ultra-affordable Laptop Performance for Businesses
Lenovo announced its ultraportable ThinkPad X120e laptop, which raises the bar for affordable business-class performance. As the first commercial laptop to feature an AMD Fusion E-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), the ThinkPad X120e blends real-world needs for faster applications and graphics processing with enhanced battery life and digital display features starting at less than $400.
As compact as it is, the ThinkPad X120e is designed to fit just right for business users who need to balance portability and usability. An 11.6 inch screen and a full-size keyboard give users plenty of room to work comfortably, and the contemporary ThinkPad keyboard features a progressively clean look while retaining the same comfortable feel of the ThinkPad classic keyboard. Starting under three pounds3, the ThinkPad X120e includes WiFi and optional Bluetooth and mobile broadband. Watch a video of the ThinkPad X120e here.

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Laura plans and manages Smallbiztechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour, now in its third year. She also produces events for clients through her event planning company, L2 Event Production. Her popular roundups of events and competitions for small businesses is published weekly on and Small Business Trends.