Overnight news roundup: 18-19 December

Is the Dell Latitude XT tablet priced too high?

Under fire from customers and industry pundits over the high cost of its Latitude XT tablet, Dell responded on Tuesday claiming that the $2,500 (£1,250) price tag is justified by the tablet's cutting-edge technology.

In a post on Dell's official blog, senior manager for the Commercial Products Team, Glenn Keels explained that the company understands the issues people are having with the price, but that there is still a lot of value for customers.

Better price or better components?

"Probably the most important thing to note about tablet PCs is that we are talking about cutting-edge technology here," Keels said. "If we just released the exact same technology as our competitors, we would be missing opportunities to drive this market to the next level - and this is an opportunity we did not want to miss. The result is that our product does carry a slight premium to our competition."

Keels went on to say that when compared to competing products after the XT components are factored in, Dell's offering actually exceeds that of other systems. He concluded by telling readers that Dell will not lower the price of the system, but that he expects it to drop over time as better components come out.

In other news...

Motorola on Tuesday announced that it has plans to release two new phones to cater to both the high-end and budget markets.

According to Motorola, the swish MING A1600 will be updated sometime next year. But there will also be a budget model that will support "at least 2.5G speeds" and run the Linux-based MOTOMAGX interface. Both phones are expected to arrive by spring 2008, but pricing has not yet been released.

If you're looking for more games to play on your iPod and you've always been a Sonic the Hedgehog fan, you'll be pleased to know that Apple on Tuesday finally allowed users to download and play the first Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as PopCap's Peggle. Each game costs $5 (£2.50).

Although Asus announced the devices earlier this year, the company has finally released the AF-200 and MF-200 webcams. They not only boast a 2-megapixel resolution and face tracking, but are capable of reading business cards as well. So far, there is no word on pricing or availability.