Windows 8 can run on an Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM

Curious what the minimum specifications for Windows 8 will be? As are we. Microsoft’s remaining mum on specifics, but the outfit’s Steven Sinofsky — President of Windows and Windows Live — just confessed during the opening Build 2011 keynote that an antediluvian Lenovo S10 was potent enough to run Windows 8. And in fact, it’ll do so with more poise than with Windows 7. A brief demonstration explained that Win8 demanded fewer system resources (barely, but still) than Win7 on the same hardware, proving that an early-gen Atom CPU and 1GB of RAM is “enough” to run the outfit’s upcoming operating system. We highly doubt it’s enjoyable, but at least you (probably) won’t be forced into an upgrade if you don’t want to be.

Sony announces Walkman Z PMP: 4.3 inches, Tegra 2, Gingerbread and ‘Throw’

We already got some brief hands-on time with this Gingerbread-sporting PMP at IFA, where it went by the name of “Walkman Mobile Entertainment Player.” Now it’s just been announced as the Sony Walkman Z, which rolls off the tongue a whole lot easier. Beneath that 4.3-inch WVGA display lurks a 1GHz Tegra 2, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and a battery rated for 20 hours of music and 5 hours of video. There’s HDMI out as well as Sony’s Throw feature for pushing media wirelessly to a Bravia TV. Pricing remains “open” apparently, but Sony does commit to availability in Japan from December 10th. You’ll get a choice of 16, 32 or 64GB models in either red/black or black/blue, or you can wait for a limited edition white version in early 2012. If you’re planning on sending it our way, Sony, then you should know we’ll be utterly broke by then.

Nintendo 3DS slide pad add-on is official, ships December 10th in Japan

Nintendo didn’t say so on stage during the pre-Tokyo Game Show 3DS press conference tonight, but it really is shipping that odd-looking circle pad add-on. The “extended slide pad” is up on the gaming company’s Japanese home page right now, with a shipping date of December 10th and a price of ¥1500 ($19.50). There’s also a list of supported games available, including Monster Hunter Tri G, BioHazard Revelations, Snake Eater 3D and more. It’s powered by a single AAA battery, which our country cousins at Joystiq note probably indicates you won’t be getting any extra playtime added to your 3DS by slapping this “boat” on the bottom.

Pentax crams 18x optical zoom into Optio RZ18 point-and-shoot camera

Guess what, amateur shooters? The superzoom just got shrunk. Pentax has just outed a new compact that touts a downright impressive 18x optical zoomer (25-450mm equivalent), with the snooping lens married to a 16 megapixel sensor, a smattering of shake reduction technologies and a 3-inch HVGA LCD ’round back. Moreover, you’ll find a nine-point autofocus system, face detection algorithms, an SDXC card slot and an HD video mode capable of snagging 720p clips at 30 frames per second. It’s all set to ship next month in black, white and orange for $299.95 here in the States, with the full presser embedded just after the break.

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Fusion Garage hacks $200 off of Grid 10 tablet, aims to play the undercutting game

Looks like we’re all indebted to HP in one way or another. Since the TouchPad fire sale began, we’ve seen a noticeable southward shift in tablet pricing — it’s as if iPad rivals finally figured out that battling on price was just about the only way to make a dent in Apple’s enviable market share. Now, we’re seeing Fusion Garage wipe a full $200 from its Grid 10 tablet… before the thing even ships. If you’ll recall, the outfit was aiming for a September 15th release date here in the States, with initial pricing for its 16GB model set for $499 (WiFi-only) / $599 (WiFi + 3G). Out of the blue, those pre-order rates have plummeted to $299 / $399 this morning, giving prospective Grid OS adopters entirely more motivation to buy in. It seems that Amazon hasn’t received the memo quite yet, so those hoping to get in the low-cost line should scurry down to the source link. Naturally, we’ll be bringing you a full-on review as soon as we procure one, and we’re guessing that just became a lot more relevant to your interests.

Update: A Fusion Garage spokesperson told Engadget that the company had planned to launch with the lower price all along, but negotiations with an ODM made it impossible to announce the price earlier. The company also added that the Grid 10 will experience a slight shipping delay, being pushed back to October 1st due to a “new criteria in [the] Adobe Flash Player (FP) 10.3 approval process.”

AT&T announces Windows Phone Mango lineup coming this fall, existing devices to be updated

In the first of what we expect to be many announcements related to Windows Phone Mango devices, AT&T stepped up to the plate this morning by unveiling three new “4G” handsets that use the latest version of Microsoft’s OS: the HTC Titan, Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash. We already know quite a bit about the Titan, but details on Sammy’s selections are slim for now — images aren’t even available for either phone, though it’s likely we’ve seen at least one of them before. In addition, the carrier’s also planning to update its entire existing lineup with Windows Phone 7.5.

As for the fall lineup, there doesn’t seem to be a slacker in the bunch. The Focus S will have a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.4GHz CPU and an 8 megapixel rear camera that accompanies a 1.3 megapixel front-facing cam for video chat. Also bearing Mango is the Samsung Focus Flash, considered the lower-end offering by Sammy, which still brandishes a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen — no Plus involved on this one — as well as a 1.4GHz CPU and 5 megapixel rear shooter and front-facing camera that for now has no specified resolution. Each of the phones are expected to arrive in the fourth quarter, and the existing lineup should be on the receiving end of the update sometime “this fall.” This is just the beginning of the impending flood, so we can’t wait to see what else is around the corner.

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HTC chairwoman Cher Wang: we might buy a mobile OS, if it feels right

Samsung seems to be the go-to company these days when it comes to mobile OS acquisition rumors, but now it looks like HTC’s on the proverbial hot seat. According to an interview by The Economic Observerin China, chairwoman Cher Wang has affirmed that HTC is at least mulling the idea: “We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse.” The report goes on to make strong mention of HP’s recently-backstabbed webOS platform, but stops short of suggesting that it’s the only OS in the running. Continuing on, Wang stated: “We can use any OS we want. We are able to make things different from our rivals on the second or third layer of a platform. Our strength lies in understanding an OS, but it does not mean that we have to produce an OS.” Of course, that’s a cheerleading session surrounding the outfit’s polarizing Sense overlay, and we’re guessing that webOS would eventually look a heck of lot different under HTC’s control. On second thought, maybe Wang’sactually trying to acquire iOS — she sure seems to love those Apple stores!