When my daughter started up her new MacBook Pro a couple of months ago, the most impressive feature was the embedded iSight webcam. When you first create user profiles, capturing a picture of the user is one of the first questions that pops up. I have said previously that Skype is not fully supportive of the Mac line until they come out with a version 2.x of Skype for Mac OS X with full video support; they are currently at version 188.8.131.52.
Well, it should be no surprise that a second Wintel PC vendor has finally come out with a webcam-embedded laptop. However, in order to ensure full communications functionality combined with hardware simplicity, the newly announced Packard Bell EasyNote Skype Edition incorporates a one-touch Skype calling button located next to the integrated webcam.. From the press release:
The Skype calling button is located next to the integrated webcam on the upper bevel of the 14-inch widescreen display. By pressing the button the user can answer incoming calls or open the Skype application to make a call. The notebook was also designed to be optimized with Intel dual-core processors. The EasyNote Skype Edition features built-in broadband and wireless connectivity, and an original Packard Bell design. Pre-loaded Skype software and the Skype button are just a couple of the many features available on this innovative notebook.
Availability in European retailers will commence in August and vary on a country-by-country basis.
An interesting development. Can a similar Dell laptop be in the future, given the recent announcement of a Dell-Skype partnership to load Skype software onto two new Dell laptop models with an integrated webcam? Will your laptop become your (portable) desktop phone of the future?
In the meantime, it’s “Lights, Packard Bell EasyNote, Skype, Action”!
Update June 22: Added Skype button picture above. Janus has provided more pictures here.